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Us 41, America 24, United States 14, Porteous 13, Washington 10, Lahood 9, Mr. Mamoulides 9, Mr. Reid 9, New York 9, Mr. Durbin 7, Mr. Coburn 6, Illinois 6, Osha 6, Louisiana 6, Nevada 6, U.s. 6, Wright 5, Harold Johnson 5, Hilda Solis 4, Texting 4,
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  CSPAN    C-SPAN Weekend    News/Business.  

    September 26, 2010
    1:00 - 6:00pm EDT  

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to the conditions at your farms? >> yes, sir. when we did our -- >> specifically which ones do you dispute? >> okay. the one that you brought up about the people going from the one barn to another. that was not specified in the fda's rule. it says even in their guidance document -- >> is that your only dispute? >> no, sir. >> what others do you dispute? >> well, the dispute we had also, they named some manure doors that they said was pushed open with manure and they were not. there was only four doors that were like that out of 292. >> all right. >> now -- do you dispute the finding that there were dead mice and flies too numerous to count? >> i would say there were live and dead flies. this is a farm. they are chicken barns. we have a very stringent fly
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program that dr. in accordannol out. >> do you dispute the statement of food and drug that these conditions do not promote safety and quality? >> i guess i'm not familiar with that. >> okay. >> statement. >> what plans do you have in place to prevent salmonella contamination? >> we've outlined a very extensive plan that we submitted to the fda. >> would you submit those plans for the record? if you please. >> yes, i would be more than happy to. >> now, i understand that two positive se samples were collected from your feed mill. is this true? >> yes, there was two swabs that were positive. >> the source is thought to be a raw ingredient acquired from a
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third party. is this true? >> that's what we believe, sir. >> now, what level of responsibilities do you have for the ingredients you receive from third parties and subsequently use in your operations? >> we've put in a full array of testing. we're taking samples from every incoming load. we've talked to all of our vendors for them also to do testing. we're doing a composite on these loads weekly and send them in for testing. we're going to do a monthly swabbing of our feed mill. we are currently in the process of completely cleaning and disinfecting the entire mill from top to bottom. and we've done extensive employee training to make sure that the mill is kept tightened up so that there's no open hatches as noted in the 483. >> what steps do you take to
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ensure that those planned or announced safeguards are implemented? >> we have a daily inspection by the mill manager. then we have an outside supervisor who is going to inspect the facilities once a week and give me a full report. >> do you still have your hog operations? >> we own some hog facilities but we don't own any -- we don't operate hog facilities. we just lease them. >> i see. mr. chairman, i note with some distress my time is up, and i thank you for your courtesy. >> thank you, mr. dingell. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. decoster, your company hires a private auditing company to audit wright county farms be a you'lly, correct? >> yes, ma'am. >> and this company is aib which is a private for profit food safety auditing firm, correct?
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>> right. they're -- >> thank you. and if you'll turn to page -- i'm sorry, tab five of the notebook in front of you, on june 7th and 8th, 2010, your farm was actually inspected by aib, correct? >> yes, ma'am. >> and aib actually issued a superior certificate to the farm, correct? >> yes, they did. >> and this has been happening -- you get inspected annually and if you'll take a look at tab seven of your notebook, on august 20th, 2008, the farm was also -- i'm sorry. that's a different one. let's just stick with tab five for a minute. so aib audited your company in 2008 two times, four times in 2009, and at least one time in
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2010, and every time you were found to be superior. is that correct? >> yes. this is an inspection of the processing facility. >> uh-huh. >> and not of the chicken barn. >> okay. and what i wanted to talk about with tab seven, if you'll look at that, unbelievably to this committee in 2009 aib was the same auditor that audited the peanut corporation of america and also gave them a superior recommendation. do you see that in your notebook as well? >> yes, ma'am. >> so here is the thing. both the peanut corporation of america and wright county egg paid aib to audit their companies and received superior ratings right before both companies sold product that is sickened thousands of people with salmonella. mr. chairman, i bring this up to say that just relying on
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third-party auditors is not going to guarantee consumer safety, which is why getting back to all of our point, we need to pass this bill. i wanted to ask you a couple of questions. in your opening statement, you said in order to get fresh quality eggs to market, hillendale must be able to rely on good production and good processing, correct? >> that is correct. >> you can't have good production and good processing without a clean and up to standard facility, correct? >> yes. >> and you also said in your opening statement that you were surprised, quote, it was difficult to understand why fda was saying your eggs were responsible for seven people sick at one restaurant, correct? because you thought that your processes were good, is that right? >> that's correct. >> okay. now, the fda inspected your
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facilities august 19th through august 26th, 2010, and they found numerous, quote, unsealed roden holes, lick in addition mature streaming from a crack in the mature pit, and uncaged hens tracking manure through the laying facilities. do you think that that's up to a standard of care, sir? >> those -- the rodent holes were open because -- >> do you think those findings are consistent with a high standard of care at the facility, yes or no? >> no. >> thank you. now, you said a minute ago when someone asked you about -- mr. braley actually asked you about the effect on the egg industry and you said you apologized for any inconvenience. do you have any idea how much the egg industry's profits have gone down because of these recalls? >> i would not know. >> do you know that, mr. decoster? >> no, ma'am, i have no
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knowledge of that. >> well, mr. chairman, i think we will find that out because i'm sure it's millions and millions of dollars. mr. decoster, i wanted to ask you one last question and that is chairman waxman was talking to you about the condition of the facilities which you apologized for, but you also seem to think that perhaps the salmonella came in in the feed, correct? >> that's what we believe at the moment. >> okay. so here is my question. you're running large egg facilities. do you have a regular system where you test the feed that comes in to make sure that it's not contaminating the chickens that eat it? >> we don't test -- we did not test -- >> are you going to establish such a system now, sir? >> yes, ma'am, that's what i was talking about earlier with the testing every load and doing a weekly composite and sending that into the lab. >> right. probably you should have been doing that all along, huh?
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>> hindsight, yes, ma'am. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. mr. doyle for questions, please. >> thanks. i want to ask you about the role you played in hillendale's egg operations in iowa. when did you start working for hillendale farms? >> i was hired in march of 2010. >> and at the time of the recall, what were your responsibilities at the two facilities? >> i was overseeing the plant at west union and working -- trying to work into the opportunity to have more control of the day-to-day produchs at the alden facility. >> i understand that one hillendale facility a located in alden, iowa, and in a letter to committee staff dated september 17th, 2010, the lawyers for the company wrote that in this facility hillendale, quote, has virtually no authority over the
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production and processing aspects and in regards to the second facility in west union, your company lawyer stated that hillendale has limited responsibility for the production and processing phases of that facility. can you clarify what role hillendale played at these two facilities? >> when i was hired in march by hillendale farms, they wanted me to come back and work with the west union facility initially, start to take a role in the day-to-day operations there, and as time went on hopefully to work into some day-to-day control at the alden facility. >> who owned the buildings on these farms? >> to the best of my knowledge, wright county farms owns the alden facility and as a shared interest in the west union
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facility. >> how about the chickens? who owns the chickens? >> i don't have any direct knowledge on who owns those. >> how many hillendale employees do you have at each of these facilities? >> the people at west union are hillendale employees. it varies up and down. there's probably in the 40s in payroll there. >> in your testimony you stated that hillendale has terminated its marketing relationship with wright county egg at the alden facility. to your knowledge has hillendale have any other business relationships in other states with mr. decoster or any of his associates? >> that's outside of the scope of my job duties. >> so i guess hillendale didn't make the eggs, wright county did, but you're a major egg producer, too, and, you know, you're in a position to know
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whether you're running a clean and safe operation. let me ask you, in light of this recall, how has this changed the culture at hillendale on how you produce eggs and do business? >> well, it's definitely going to make us take a closer look at what we do. we have hired two consultants to come in. the gal that was at the fda and a person with food safety at several fortune 200 food companies, we've brought them in. they're going to be doing recommendations to improve our food safety programs. we have discontinued our agreement with the wright county farms at alden. we have -- we will no longer be receiving pullets that wright
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county has raised for the west union facility. we are bringing on another staff position at west union to increase and do a better job of documentation on quality control. >> okay. well, you know, hillendale farms is a brand i see in my store all the time in pittsburgh and i'd venture to say i've eaten hundreds of your eggs. i want to continue to feel god about picking those boxes up when i go to the supermarket. the important thing that comes out of this hearing and subsequently if we can finally get some -- a bill out of the senate, we just want to make sure that every consumer when they go into that store has a good feeling about a brand when they see it and your company has a pretty good reputation in my neck of the woods. so i was surprised to see your name mentioned when this broke out, but i hope it's a wake-up call to everybody in the industry that americans expect -- have a right to expect
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that when they buy your food, your products, that you're not going to make them sick or worse yet cause them to die. mr. chairman, i see my time has expired. >> thank you, mr. doyle. that concludes the questions from the panel. i'm going to excuse this panel and thank you for coming today but you'd be excused. we'll go to our third panel in a moment here. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> the house has already passed its version of the bill. oklahoma senator tom coburn is stalling the vote because he says the $1.4 billion cost over five years is not paid for. he and majority leader harry reid speak about this on the senate floor on wednesday.
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the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that we terminate the all of the quorum. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, america has one of the most safest and abundant food supplies in the world. it's not perfect. food borne illnesses sicken one in every four people every year. 25% of people get sick from food borne illnesses every year. as many as five million americans die every year from food poisoning much the bill we're attempting to bring to the floor today is a very simple bill. it will make our food safer. it's a bipartin bill that was reported out unanimously from the "help" committee and we've been -- there's been negotiations going on for a long, long time. months and months. mr. president, people often think that food poisoning is an upset stomach that goes away in a few hours or maybe a day or
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two. sometimes that's all it is. but sometimes it's much worse. i met with families from nevada who have been seriously sickened by food they have eaten. people hospitalized for weeks and months and months. a number of them came very close to dying. in some of these cases they'll deal with the results of their food poisoning for the rest of their lives. one of the little girls i met with is named reilly gusterson, she's from henderson, nevada. this little girl when 9 years old was doing what her mom asked her to do, eat her salad. the salad had spinach in it. e. coli was in there with the spinach. she got so, so very sick. i've seen her on a number of occasions. beautiful child, but she's going to be amall child all of her life because of that illness. she was hospitalized for a long, long time and survived.
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three others got e. coli from spresh spinach -- fresh spinach and they died. she didn't. i also had the opportunity to meet with the rivera family from las vegas. linda became sick from e. coli and this time it was cookie dough. doctors didn't have much hope that she would survive. but she did. she's recovering still. this will be with her the rest of her life, this food poisoning. it will be a long road back for full health for linda. we hope that she alives at that. last month there was another big recall. this time it was eggs contaminated with salmonella, more than 2,000 people have been sickened during this outbreak. they recall stories like reilly and linda what it illustrates is the need for food safety legislation. people in nevada and across the nation are asking for thi
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legislation. they want to know what food they can can put on the family's dinner table, what they can pack in their children's lunches and is it safe. there's no excuse to wait any longer. our current food safety system hasn't been updated in almost a century. it's not keeping up with the contaminants that cause these problems. there are new ones that come along all the time. the f.d.a. doesn't have the authority to keep u with the modern expansion and marketing and production. this bill will fix that. th bipartisan bill called the f.d.a. food safety modernization act would improve the system while minimizing regulatory burden. it gives the f.d.a. mandatory recall authority of contaminated food. it sets up a system for f.d.a. to keep up with food so we can find out where the contaminated food came from and to stop it quickly from getting to the grocery stores. it assures that food is safe
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without overburdening farmers with new regulations. it makes no changes to the current oor gantic -- organic program run by the department of agriculture. nothing could be needed more in these waning days before the election to help our constituents. nothing could be less controversial than keeping them out of harm's way. so let's move this commonsense bill and pass it. that's why we're here, is to do things to help the american people, and this would do it. and i would also add, mr. president, that the committee has worked really hard on this. they have negotiated, negotiated and negotiated and had different versions. they kept moving forward, kept moving forward, and finally it was all done. we thought we were going to be able to get this done. but it appears we have one person that doesn't want this bill to pass, and that's unfortunate. so, mr. president, i ask
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unanimous consent the time to be determined by me following nsultation with senator mcconnell, the senate proceed to consideration of calendar numbered 247, the f.d.a. food safety modernization act. s. 510. that when the bill is considered to be under the following limitations, that general debate on the bill be limited to two hours equally divided and controlled between senators harkin and enzi or their designees, that the only amendments in order other than the committee reported substitute be those listed in this agreement, with debate on each listed amendment lited to 30 minutes, with the time equally divided and controlled in the usual form. further, that when any of the listed amendments are offered for consideration, the reading of the amendments be considered waived and the amendments not be subject to division. harkin-enzi substitute amendment. tester amendment regarding small farms and facilities. harkin-enzi amendment. mr. president, i would just add editorially that these are the
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chairman -- this is the chairman and ranking member of that committee. both extremely easy to work with and really good legislators. that the harkin-enzi amendment regarding technical and conforming, that once offered the tebt amendment be considered and agreed to, and the motion to reconsider be laid on the table. coburn amendment regarding offset for cost of bill, feinstein amendment regarding b.p.a., leahy amendment regarding criminal penalties. upon disposition of the amendments, the yielding back of time -- of all time, the harkin-enzi substitute amendment as amended be agreed to, the committee reported substitute amendment as amended be agreed to, the bill as amended be read a third time and the senate then proceed to vote on passage of the bill. mr. president, before you rule on this, i should have mentioned earlier in my remarks the person that has been riding herd on this for months has been senator durbin. this is something he believes in, as he can come to believe in
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things so intently, and i admire and respect the work that he has done on this bill, keeping it always at the front of my attention list. the presiding officer: is there objection? a senator: reserving the right to object. the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. coburn: and i will not object if the senator will make this change to the proposed agreement, that the only amendments in order other than the committee repted substitute be these three -- the harkin-enzi substitute amendment, which is fully offset and ha been agreed to. mr. reid: would you say that again? mr. coburn: the harkin-enzi substitute amendment, which is fully offset and has been agreed to by both managers, which will be agreed to as original text for the purposes of further amendment. the harkin-enzi technical amendment, and the tester amendment in regards to small farms. the presiding officer: does the leader so modify his request? mr. reid: it's my understanding
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that my good friend from oklahoma would have no amendment. mr. coburn: i wouldn't need an amendment because the bill would already be offset. mr. rei well, what i say to my friend, i think that this is something that i would like to take a little time and -- not a lot of time, a little bit of time, talk to my friends, senator durbin, harkin and enzi, and see if there is something we can do to move this down the ball field. if not, you and i can come back here and talk about this. so, mr. president, in light of my friend's request to modify my unanimous consent request, and my inability to intelligently respond to it, because this is something i had not anticipated, i will be happy to withdraw my request, and i will renew it at a later time if i can come to something that's more appropriate that i think --
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mr. coburn: mr. majority leader? i ask unanimous consent to be recognized for 15 minutes. the presiding officer: first, the request is withdrawn, and the -- the senator is recognized. mr. dorgan: mr. president, reserving the right to objec i will not object. i wonder if the senator would modify his request so i could be recognized following his presentation. mr. coburn: i have no problem to modifying my request in that regard. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. coburn: mr. president, there is nobody in this country that doesn't want our food to be safe. there is no question we all rely on the intent that the vast majority of food is safe in this country, and there is no question we have some problems with food safety. but the biggest problem we have is in fixing the symptoms of a problem rather than the problem itself. and i hope america will pay attention to this. ask yourself why it took the
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food and drug administration ten years to give us an egg safety standard, and that no oversight committee of either the house or the congress through the previous ten years held that oversight hearing to say why is it taking ten years to get an egg safety standard? as a matter of fact, the egg safety standard came out ten days afterwards, coincidentally, to the salmonella infection that we have presently recently seen. now, as a practicing physician who has treated salmonella, camfhelo bacter and other vy infectious gastrro disease that is can come from food, but i
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want the organization whose responsibility it is to keep it safe to do its job. and the problem with this bill, besides it not being paid for, is it doesn't fix the real problem. the american public should know if you go to the grocery store anywhere in this country and buy a pepperoni pizza, the f.d.a. is responsible for the food safety, but if you buy a cheese pizza, it's the usda. how does that make a sense to anybody in america? and what happened on the farms in iowas far as eggs is the usda knew there was a problem, but they didn't tell the f.d.a. because the f.d.a.'s only responsible for the egg once it gets out of the ccken. which came first, the chicken or the egg? the egg once it came out and was shipped was then the responsibility of the f.d.a. this bill doesn't address any of
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those problems. so as we look to solve a very critical and real problem -- and i ackwledge senator durbin's work on this. i acknowledge our chairman and ranking member. i had a staff member at every meeting that they had raising these same objections. we now have a bill that's going to cost themecan public $1.5 billion over the next five years that doesn't fix the real problem, and the real problem is the lack of focus of the agencies to do their job, and it does not eliminate the crossover and lack of consistency. you know, if you buy red meat in the store, you only have to trust one agency, but if you buy an egg, you have to trust two. if you buy a salad or lettuce, you have to trust two. they're not talking to one another, and there is nothing in this bill that makes them do
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that. what we have done is we have created a lot of new regulations with a lot of money without solving the real problem. and the only way we get to the real problem is to have the f.d.a. up here once a week for the next four weeks, and the usda once a week for the next four weeks talking about these critical crossover issues. and in the bill, it actually states in the bill nothing in this act or an amendment made by this act shall be construed to alter the jurisdiction between the secretary of agriculture and the secretary of health and human services. in other words, there is a prohibition to alter the responsibility so that we might have safe food. in other words, to hold one agency accountable rather than two so one can point the finger at the other. and we had a house hearing today on the egg recall, and the fact is that that's what happened.
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usda knew there were problems, but the f.d.a. didn't know there were problems until after somebody got sick. so we create a high level of additional regulation, a high level of various inspections. and i'm not against the inspections. i eat salad like the rest of us. i know sometimes i'm not accused of being human, but the fact is i consume the same food everybody else does. i don't want to get sick from it. but we can't continue to pass bills that pile on regulations that cost the american people $1.5 billion that don't fix the real problem, and that's the problem. my objection is it's not paid for, and i will hear the objection, well, it's an authorizing bill. oh, really? it's just an authorizing bill? so that means there's not any money going to be spent? well, if there is not any money going to be spent, then we really aren't passing the bill
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to do what we want it to do, because if we say we're not responsible for spendg another another $1.5 billion, then there is no problem. if it's not spending money, it's not going to do anything. but if it is spending money, we ought to decrease the priority somewhere else within the waste of the usda, which there is billions and within the f.d.a., which has tons of property they're not using, which could pay for this bill easily. we ought to eliminate the things at aren't working. so i want our food to be safe. as a practicing physician, i know the public health aspects of this bill, but i refuse to go forward when we continue to make the same mistakes that has given us a $1.4 trillion deficit, has given us lack of control and lack of oversight of the bureaucracies, and the biggest thing is if we're not holding
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anybody accountable with this, because we'll pass this and then the next time there is a food problem, in terms of contaminated food, we'll pass something else. and in between time, there won't be the first oversight hearing to say what did we do, did it work, show us the results at work, is it efficient, is it effective, did it improve the safety of the food? we won't do that. we'll just react and pass another bill. well, i'mhrough passing bills that don't solve the real problem, and i'm through spending the next two generations' money when we can't make the priority choices. and the fact that we refuse to say we're going to eliminate something that's very low priority t be able to have a food safety bill, then that tells the american people that we're not up to the task of getting us out of the problems that we're in. i know everybody in this body wants safe food, even me, and
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i'm -- i'm not tired of taking the hits for holding up this bill. because we can't be perfect on food, but we can be a whole lot better. this bill can solve some of the problems, but it's not complete, and it hadn't looked at the levels that it needs to look to straighten out the bureaucracy on food safety. it has not eliminated the overlap. and nobody, nobody with any common sense said you will have pizzas in the grocery store, one controlled byhe usda, one controlled by the f.d.a. it's clueless. it doesn't fit the reason the one that doesn't have any meat on it is controlled by the f.d.a. is because it has a milk product on it, it has chee. but the one that has pepperoni on it has cheese, too. so how did we get there? where are we going to establish a responsibility and
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accountability to the agencies that are responsible for food safety? so i look forward to working with the majority lder. i will take a less than perfect bill any time, but i won't take a bill that isn't paid for and doesn't come out of the hides of >> discuss with the congressional agenda will be of republicans win more seats in the senate. they discuss the role of concerts and moderates in the republican party, the bush tax cuts, and the new health-care law. that is it today at 6:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. on tuesday, senate democrats failed on a procedural vote to move to the 2011 the center on the authorization bill. republicans blocked the effort
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due to the repeal of do not ask, do not tell. here is the reaction by democrats after the vote. this is about 35 minutes. floor to discuss the defense authorization bill and the don't ask, don't tell provisions included in it. let me start by making my position crystal clear. i agree with the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, admiral mike mullen, that the don't ask, don't tell law should be repealed. it should be repealed, contingent upon the certain fictions ocertifications of the, the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff that its repeal would not
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have an adverse impact on military readiness, recruitment and retention. d those are, mr. president, exactly the provisions that are included in the defense authorization bill. my view is that our armed forces should welcome the service of any qualified individual who is willing and capable of serving our country. the bottom line for me is this. if an individual is willing to put on the uniform of our country, to be deployed in war zones like iraq and afghanistan, to risk his or her life for our country, then we should be
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expressing our gratitude to those individuals, not trying to exclude them from serving or expel them from the force. that is why, mr. president, during consideration of this bill in may i supported the compromise provisions that were put forth by senator lieberman and senator levin. at a previous senate armed services committee hearing, i asked admiral mullen if there were any evidence at all that allowing gay and le lesbian tros to serve had harmed military readiness in those countries that all their service now. at least 28 cntries, including great britain, australia,
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canada, the netherlands, and israel, allow open service by lesbian and gay troops. we have no greater allies than great britain, australia, canada, and israel, and none of these countries, not one, reports morale or recruitment problems. at least nine of these countries have deployed their forces alongside american troops in operation iraqi freedom, and at least 12 of these nions are allowing open service and are currently fighting alongside u.s. troops in afghanistan. there's a cost involved in our current policy. according to a 2005 g.a.o. report, american taxpayers spend more than $30illion each year
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to train replacement for gay troops discharged under the don't ask, don't policy. the total costs reported since the statute was implemented, according to g.a.o., has been nearly $200 million and that doesn't count the administrative and legal costs associated with investigations and hearings. the military schooling of gay troops, such as pilot training and linguist training. we are losing highly-skilled troops to this policy. according to the g.a.o., 8% of the service members let go under don't ask, don'tell held critical occupations defined as services such as interpreters, 3% had skills in an important foreign language such as arabic,
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farsi or korean. more than 13,000 troops have been dismissed from the military simply because of their sexual orientation since president clinton signed this law in 1993. mr. president, society has changed so much since 1993, and we need to change this policy as well. but let me say, mr. president, that i respect the views of those who disagree with me on this issue, such as the ranking member of the senate armed services committee, senator mccain, and i will defend the right of my colleagues toffer amendments on this issue and other issues that are being brought up in
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connection with the defense authorization bill, and there are many controversial issues in this bill. they deserve to have a civil, fair and open debate on the senate floor, and that is why i am so disappointed that rather than allowing full and open debate and the opportunity for amendments from both sides of the aisle, the majority leader apparently intends to shut down the debate and exclude republicans from offering a number of amendments. this would be the 116th time in this congress that the majority leader or another member of the majority has filed cloture rather than proceeding to the bill under an agreement
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that would allow amendments to be debated. what concerns me even more is the practice of filling up the amendment tree to prevent republican amendments, and if that is done on this bill, it will be the 40th time. now, mr. president, i find myself on the horns of a dilemma. i support the provisions in this bill. i debated for them. i was the sole republican in the committee that voted for the lieberman-levin language on don't ask, don't tell. i think it's the right thing to do. i think it's only fair. i think we should welcome the service of these individuals who are willing and capable of serving their country, but i
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cannot vote to proceed to this bill under a situation that is ing to shut down the debate and preclude republican amendments. that, too, is not fair. so i'm going to make one final plea to my colleagues to enter into a fair time agreement that will allow full and open debate, full and open amendments to a the provisions of this bill including don't ask, don't tell, even though i will vote against the amendment to strike don't ask, don't tell provisions from this bill. now is not the time to play politics simply because an election is looming in a few
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weeks. again, i call upon the majority leader to work with the republican leaders to negotiate an agreement on the terms of debate for this bill so that we can debate this important defense policy bill this week, including the vital issue of don't ask, don't tell. thank you, for us to be using up all of our time in advance. mr. president, this morning a number of republican senators stated that they would support the current filibuster of this bill because they were afraid that if we take up this bill, we're going to have a closed process that would limit their ability to offer amendments. now, the majority leader has addressed this issue. he specifically said last thursday that he's willing to work with republicans on a process that will permit the senate to consider these matters and complete the bill as soon as possible. he's very clear on this thing. he is not trying to prevent other amendments from being offered.
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however, mr. president, there aren't going to be any amendments -- there's not going to be any opportunity too vote on any amendments unless we get 60 votes to overcome the current fibilityd and proceed to the bill. -- the current filibuster and proceed to the bill. it makes no sense for senators to block all amendments, which is what the effect will be if we don't end this filibuster, to deny consideration of this bill so we can consider amendments. it makes no sense to do that under the guise of wanting an open amendment process. we're pea not going to have any amendments unless we can get to this bill, unless we end this filibuster. amendments are appropriate. we've always had amendments on the defense bill. the majority leader assures we're going to do that again, and i would do everything i can to make sure that's true as chairman. so the issue today is not whether or not there's going to be specific amendments in order. it's whether we're going to get to the bill so we can try to consider amendments to the defense authorization bill.
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there's many amendments that should be considered, and i hope that we cannot continue this filibuster. i hope we can get 60 votes and do the important work of the nation which is to get a defense authorization bill passed after it's been considered. i would yield the balance of my time. mr. mccain: how much time do i have? the presiding officer: minutes and 50 seconds. mr. mccain: mr. president, this is obviously an important vote that is coming up. and i repeat, i'm not opposed in principle to bringing up the defense bill and debating it, amending it and voting on t i am not opposed to have full debate on whether to repeal don't ask, don't tell and then allow the senate to legislate. i am opposed to bringing up the defense bill right out in before the defense department has completed its defense bill right now because we need to know the views of the men and women who
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are serving in the military in uniform. give them a chance to tell us their views, whether you agree to or disagree with the policy, whether you want to keep it or repeal t the senate should not be forced to make this decision now before we've heard from our troops. we've asked for their views, and we should wait to hear from them. and all four service chiefs have said the same thing: let's conduct the survey, let's get it dorntion and then act on whether to repeal or not repeal. there's one other aspect of this, mr. president. this is a blatant political ploy in order to try to galvanize the political base of the other side which is facing a losing election. that's why the majority leader said we would take up don't ask, don't tell, take up the "dream" act and then take up the issue of secret holds and then address the other issues after the election. i wonder why the majority leader would have those priorities? in other words, take up those
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that would be politically beneficial, galvanize its political base as far as the hispanic community is concerned and the gay and lesbian community, and then take up the other issues after -- after the election is over in lame-duck session. i have -- this majority leader has invoked -- has filled up the tree and has not allowed debate 40 times -- 40 times -- more than all the other majority leaders ahead -- before -- preceding him. and we need -- and last year the hate crimes bill was arranged in such a way that there would not amendments that were -- that were -- could be proposed by my side of the aisle. so let's vote against cloture, sit down and try to reach some kind of an agreement. let the men and women in the military be heard from. let their leaders go to their
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men and women who are serving and tell them that we have heard your input before we make this legislative change and stop the cynical manipulation of the men and women in the military in order to get votes on november 2. mr. president, i reserve the balance of my time. mr. levin: how much time do i have? the presiding officer: two minutes. mr. levin: i yield the time to the senator connecticut. mr. lieberman: thank senator levin. i rise to oppose the filibuster of the national defense authorization act and to say what is obvious, that there's -- this is a preelection campaign season. there's a lot of politics, partisan politics swirling swir. everything going on is
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procedural. but there's two things that i know. i want to express them about this vote coming up. one is, we have to proceed to consider the national defense authorization act. if we don't do it today, i hope we'll do it as soon after as we can because our military needs it. they're in imavment without this legislation passing -- they're in combat. without this legislation pass, we will not have the increased compensation and benefits for the military and their families. we will not have authorization for critical military construction. we'll not have authorization for acquisition of critical military equipment that our troops need to fight safely on our bafnedz and to remain what -- on our behalf, and to remain what they are, the bravest, most effective fighting force in the world. so it may not be today. but it will be sometime before the end of the year that we've got to take this bill up. it is our national constitutional, moral responsibility. second, and this is a controversial part, of course, i believe that we've got repeal
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don't does, don't tell. not only because it's not consistent with american values of equal opportunity, of judging people by whether they can do a job or not, not not by their nationality, their religion, their gender, their race or their sexual orientation. can you do a job? and if you can do it, then you can get that job in america. and we've got thousands of americans who are patriotic, who want to serve, who happen to be gay or lesbian, and we're telling them, you can't. and not only that, we've kicked out 14,000 of them in the last 17 years under don't ask, don't tell. the presiding officer: the majority time has expired. mr. lieberman: at some point we're going to come to a vote and on don't ask, don't tell. i believe a majority of my colleagues in this chamber -- maybe more than that -- are going do quhai think we need to do, which is to repeal don't don't ask, don't tell. i thank the chair. the presiding officer: the senator froms a has two minutes and 45 seconds. mr. mccain: i just want to emphasize again, mr. president,
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the statements of the service chiefs. general george casey, "i remain convinced it's critically important to get a better understanding of where our soldiers and families are on this issue and what impacts readiness and unit cohesion might be so i can provide informed military advice to the present congress." i believe that repealing the law before the completion of this review will be seen by the men and women of the army as a reversal of our commitment to hear their views before moving forward." admiral roughead. my concern is that legislative changes at this point regardless of the precise language used may cause confusion on the status of the law and the fleet and disrupt the review process itself by leading sailors to question whether their input matters. john conway, "i encourage the congress to let the process the secretary of defense created to run its course." general swartz, "i believe it's important to keep the matter -- the matter of keeping faith with
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those currently serving in the armed forces that the secretary of defense commission review be completed before there is any legislation to repeal the don't ask, don't tell law." mr. president, let's listen to the people who we've placed in charge of the men and women in the military. this is not the time to move forward on this issue, particularly with a political campaign at its highest. so i hope my colleagues will oppose the cloture vote and let's hear a statement in favor of the men and women who are serving in the military.y.y.y.y. mr. durbin: . the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: mr. president, for those who have been following this vote, this has been an attempt to proceed to the defense authorization bill. it's one of the most important bills that we consider during the course of a year. senator levin of michin is chairman of the armed services committee, and he was prepared to bring that vote to the floor.
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there was an attempt made by the majority leader, senator reid, to allow three amendments to be considered, three amendments which would be considered before other amendments on the bill. one of the andments relating to the don't ask, don't tell policy, there is a provision already in the bill which allows after review by the joint chiefs of staff, the president, the dertment of defense, the possibility of removing this provision from our law. that was one of the amendnts. the second amendment reled to senate procedure on secret holds, but the third amendment and the one i riseo speak to is the one which became the focal point of this last vote. that amendment related to a measure known as the "dream" act. almost ten years ago, i introduced this bill called the "dream" act. the reason i introduced it was because ielt there was a serious injustice and unfairness going on in america. we have within our borders
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thousands of young people who were brought to the united states by their parents at an early age. i don't know what it was like in their homes, but there weren't many democratic votes when i was 5 years old as to where we were going to go for vacation. i went where i was told. these children followed their parents to america. they came here and became part of america. we made certain that they had an opportunity for an education and health care. we made certain that they had an environment where they could grow up in this coury. and for many of them, it was the only home they ever kne but because they came to this country with undocumented parents, they were not legal, they were not documented, they couldn't be citizens. that, to me, is a serious injustice. we do not in this country hold the crimes and misdeeds of parents against their children.
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what i have tried to do with the "dream" act is to give these young people a chance, a chance to earn their way to legal status and become part of the only country they have ever known. the "dream" act isn't easy. the "dream" act says if you came here as a child, if you were raised in the united states, good moral character, no criminal record, you graduate from high school, then we give you six years, and in that six-year period of time, you have a chance to do one of two things to become legal. one, serve the united states of america in the military. number two, complete two years of college education. and then we'll give you a chance to come off temporary status and become legal in america. you have to earn your way all the way through, subject to review, examination, all of the requirements that should be there before someone gets this
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chance of a lifetime. well, the republican minority leader came to the floor before this vote, and he offered a unanimous consent request which senator reid objected to, but here's what it said. of all the amendments that you could consider on the defense authorization bill, you cannot consider any amendment that relates to immigration. i know what that was about. the sene knew what that was about. it was a attempt by the republican side of the aisle to make certain that the "dream" act could never be called on the defense authorization bill. it made an empty argument on that side that this "drea act has nothing to do with the defense of the united states. it's an empty argument -- mr. reid: would my friend yield for a question? mr. durbin: i would be happy to yield. mr. reid: i say to my friend through the chair, is it not also true that under the terms of the "dream" act, no one becomes a citizen? they g a simple green card, is that true? mr. durbin: they reach legal
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status. they have to make application to go beyond that. in this situation, young people, undocumented in the united states who want to volunteer to serve in our military cannot do it. they are wling to risk their lives for america, and we say no. the secretary of defense knows that's wrong. this morning in a conversation that i had with him in my office over the telephone, he reiterated what he had said t me before: these are the kind of young people we need in america's military, high school graduates from cultural traditions that respect the military, people who are going to make more diversity in our ranks. that's what we need. he knows from a national defense perspective these will be good recrts for our military and will distinguish themselves, serving our country and coming up through the ranks. that's what the "dream" act offered to the defense authorization bill. the republican leadership and every republican senator said
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no. mr. reid: madam president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: would my friend yield for a question? mr. durbin: i would be happy to yield. mr. reid: i say through the chair, are you telling the american people that the secretary of defense, the man chosen by the president of the united states, not only this president but the last president, is in favor of our passing the "dream" act? is that what the senator from illinois isaying? mr. durbin: i would say to the nator from nevada exactly that. the defense department's f.y. 2010-2012 strategic plan for the defense of america specifically includes the "dream" act as a means of meeting the strategic goal and shaping and maintaining a mission-ready, all-volunteer force. in 2007, the deputy under secretary of defense at that time said the "dream" act is very appealing because it would apply to the cream of the crop of students and be good for readiness. over and over again, the department of defense has told us this is an opportunity for the young people to serve our nation, formerica to be a
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safer place. i want to say to my friend, the senator from nevada, i told him this story earlier, this young man came this morning to the united states capitol from the cityf new york, i say to the presiding officer. he lives in brooklyn. his name is caesar vargas. caesar vargas came to the united states at the age of 5, brought here by his parents from mexico. graduated from the public schools in new york and then went on to graduate college. now, it was more difficult for him because he is undocumented. he could get no federal aid to education, no pell grants, no student loans. but he made it, he graduated. after 9/11, i would say to the presiding officer he said to us this morning, because of my deep commitment to america, i tried to enlist in the marine corps. i wanted to defend this country after we had been attacked by terrorists. he not only tried the marine corps, he tried other branches, and repeatedly he was turned down because caesar vargas is
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undocumented. but his dream has not died. now he is a third-year student at the city university of new york law school. he speaks four languages. he said he is studying a fifth, cantonese. he is an exceptionally gifted young man. and do you know what his ambition is? once again, to join the marine corps, to be in the judge advocate general corps, to serve america, a country which he dearly loves. because of this republican decision, procedural decision, to say we couldn't consider the "dream" act, we won't have a chance to vote on this bill at this time, on this important measure which would give caesar vargas and thousands just like him a chance to volunteer to serve america. i would say to my friends and colleagues on both sides of the aisle where is the justice in this decision? at least have the courage to let us bng this matter to the floor and stand up and vote no. but to hide behind this procedural ruse, this unanimous
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consent request is totally unfair. it is inconsistent with the spirit and the history of this chamber where we deliberate and debate andote. but they ran and they hid behind this procedural decision. mr. reid: madam president? would the senator yield just for a brief question? and statement? i want everyone within the sound of my voice to understand how much i appreciate and thousands and thousands of other peoe appreciate senator durbin's advocacy on this issue, but i also want everyone within the sound of my voice to know we're going to vote on the "dream" act. it's only a question of when. this is so fair. that's all this is about, it's fairness, basic fairness. i -- i have to say to my friend from illinois, i feel so bad, i have got a stack of letters in my office and the most
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heart-wrenching stories of these dreamers. they are dreamers. but i want them to understand this isn't the end of this. we're going t continue to move on. we know we have been blocked procedurally, but this is the first time that we have had our colleagues on the other side of the aisle stand up and defy basic fairness on the "dream" act. they have gone around telling people, yeah, we like it, we like it, but here was their chance. alle wanted to do was bring it to the floor. they wouldn't even let us do that. they didn't have the courage to allow us to have a vote on this. and i want my friend to knowow deeply appreciative i am, speaking for thousands and thousands of other people for what you have done on this issue. mr. durbin: i thank the senator from nevada, the majority leader. i will tell him and those who are following this debate, some who are in the chamber, in the galleries, i'm sure, are disappointed if not heartbroken at this point. i mtioned caesar vargas who is here, gaby pecheko and so many
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others who have worked so hard for this chance today. my promise to them is this: as long as i can stand behind this desk and grab this microphone and use my power as a united states senator, i will be pushing for this "dream" act. it is my highest priority. it is a matter of simple american justice, and i would hope that 11 republicans who joined us last time will stop cowering in the shadows and come forward and join us in a bipartisan effort and not stop us procedurally from even debating and deliberating this critical issue. for those who are so sad today, take heart. tomorrow is another day, and we will be there to fight for you. many others will join us. and don't give up your dream to be part of this great nation. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from hawaii.
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mr. inouye: just a little step back in history, if i may say so? on december 7, 1941, something terrible happened in hawaii. pearl harbor was bombed by the japanese. three weeks later, the government of the united states declared that all japanese americans, citizens born in the united states of japanese ancestry were to be considered enemy alien. as a result, like those undocumented people, they could not put on the uniform of this land. well, i was 17 at that time, and naturally i resented this because i loved my country and i wanted to put on a uniform to show where my heart stood, but we were denied, so we petitioned the government and a year later, they said okay, if you wish to
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volunteer, go ahead. well, to make a long story short, the regiment i served in made up of japanese americans had the highest casualties in europe but the most decorated in the history of the united states. and i think your beneficiaries will do the same. the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. levin: let me -- i know the senator from hawaii has to leave. i wish eve american could have heard from a hero, not of this body, of this nation and of the world. senator inouye didore than swim against the tide in order to put on the uniform of this country. he had to fight his way into the army. he then became a medal of honor winner. highest medal of valor that can
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be granted was granted, awarded to senator inouye. he gave up more than just a few years of his life. he gave up part of his body for this country. and his eloquence, his passion for proper treatment of people who want t put on the uniform of this nation is extraordinarily powerful, and i only wish that every -- every american could have heard it, and i thank him for that service and for that statement. but i also want to add a thank you to the senator from illinois, and i want to reinforce something that he said by asking him a question. it had to do with that unanimous consent request which he referred to. and the way this request was worded, even if -- well, let me back up. we've heard for two days an objection from republicans that there would be nonrelevant amendments that would be offered which, of course, are permitted
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under our rules. as a matter of fact, the senator from arizona has on a number of occasions on this bill offered nonrelevant amendments. but even if that "dream" act amendment of yours were modified so that it only related to young men and women who wanted to go into the army to serve tir country and the educational part of it, as important as that is, if that were left out, even if the amendment were designed so that it could be referred to the armed services committee because it would be defense related, even if you could design an amendment like that, under this unanimous consent agreement, no amendment related to immigration would be in order during those first amendment. now, is that not singling out immigration, saying, despite all
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of the protestations we heard here about wanting to make sure th amendments were relevant -- despite the history that that's not required under our rules -- but that's the protestations we heard over the last two days. we want relevant amendment, and the "dream" act isn't relevant. unde this unanimous consent, even if the "dream" act were modified so that it might be within the jurisdiction of the armed services committee because it would be focused on service in the armed forces, under this amendment, no amendment relating to immration would be in order during those amendments. is that correct? mr. durbin: i reply to the senator from michigan through the chair, and i thank him for this question, just as the door was closed on dan inouye of hawaii when, as a japanese-american, he wanted to serve his country, the unanimous consent request from the republican leader closed the door to anyone who wished to serve this country if it involved the issue of
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immigration. it had one intent -- stop the ream" act, stop these young people from being given a chance to serve their nation. that is clearly the intent, and, unfortunately, the partisan roll call that followed is evidence that that was the strategy. just as dan inouye prevailed and persisted and not only served his country admirably but with the highest level of valor, i am convinced that many of the young people who leave heartbroken today by this vote will get their chance someday, just as you, did senator, and they will serve this country with distinction and they will lead this nation, as you have led us in the united states senate. >> i underestimated what the job was. i jumped from minority whip to speaker overnight and from the minority party that nobody thought would be in power to
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leading a wave of 9 million additional votes in 1994 as the biggest one party increase in american history. >> nude gingrich on his tenure as house speaker and a possible 2012 bid for president. coming up later on c-span. former massachusetts governor mitt romney speaks to the new hampshire republican convention this weekend. we will show you his remarks on "road to the white house" on c- span. local content vehicles are traveling the country as we look at some of the most closely contested races ahead of the midterm elections. during a swing through arkansas, and we caught up with the rnc bus tour as it came to little
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rock. >> the republican national committee is travelling around the country on a bus, travelling to over 100 cities. nancy pelosi is just one portion of the big agenda, which is to ruin this country and has ruined our economy and caused skyrocketing unemployment and people are tired of it. the rnc is going around to make sure that people are aware of the damage they have done. [applause]
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>> how are you? >> good to see you. fire pelosi, right? glad you are here. good to see everybody. how is tim doing? is he hanging in there? will become the next governor, right? that's the goal. how are you, sir?
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>> i was here when you were here last time. >> hi, i'm rachel. >> rachel. >> you doing all right? excellent. good to meet you. excellent. good to be with you. how is it going, buddy? staying out of trouble? . to get something going for the elections? -- going to get something going for the elections? we appreciate it. how is she doing? >> she needs your support. >> please give her my best. really, i hope she is doing well. good to be back. >> tonight come all i represent
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rod r karkansana,s, conservative leaders and welcoming to arkansas, and i want you to give him a rousing arkansas welcome, the chairman of the republican national committee, would you welcome michael steele? >> the what we have to do revolves around candidates, or around ideas and issues, but at the end of the day it will be people. it will be each one of you. and the little bit or the great amount that you do between now and election day. the reason we are on this bus, the reason we are out here trying to storm off is that we want to make sure people are engaged and listening is because we have heard a great cry from the american people, and the cry is simply, "enough." at what point do you figure $13
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billion in debt is too much? at what point do you think 1.3 trillion dollars of deficit is too much? how much of a burden do we expect a baby born today to carry in their lifetime? right now is about $55,000. that is what we are talking about. that is what this fight you are engaged in is about. thank you all very much. let's get to work. >> got very animated talking about you are tired of nitpicking. are you worried that this will spoil any gains? >> let me be clear. i am tired of the backbiting and the nitpicking. i do not think it will spoil it unless we allow it to take control of our efforts. the focus is for me right now
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whether you are talking in delaware or anywhere else in the country, we have nominees in competitive races who stand a very good chance of winning. i refuse anyone or anything to stand and the weight of this. -- in the way of this. the goal of this party is to win. we are putting our best team out there. we have an enormous group of candidates that are running. a year ago, i could not even find someone to say they are republican let alone run as one. we have come a long way. i am not happy with those as it sit back. who no one is perfect. the people get to decide who wins. so, my view of it is, let's
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focus on winning, not support those who have been nominated and get to all that other stuff later. >> who do you blame for the backbiting? >> i blame anyone who is all they're complaining, anyone who is out there nitpicking. everybody knows who they are. you read them. the reality is let's focus as a party for the first time since 2004, we are winning, were in a position to win. it is taken a lot of work by this chairman, the republican national committee under my leadership, our national membership to get is to this point. that is our mission, that is our hope. >> in arkansas, conservatives are unified, whether conservative republicans, tea
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partiers, conservative democrats they want change in washington, d.c. >> they are unified. "the new york times" has done an audit of the rnc? we will have more than enough money, trust me. things mind, we've done a little different, too. we did not play by the old rules were you sit there and stockpile all the cash so that we can present to the press a big cash on hand to start paying my -- spending money in late august and early september. we invested $20 million starting late last fall and early this year into victory centers like this. i took the risk of saying, it will take the risk. we already invested it. we contacted 15 million voters, because we spend the money not
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two weeks ago but 10 months ago. and that is a big difference between winning and losing. you can go the old school way if you want and put all of the money it in the basket, and then brag, look how much money we have. but you are not organizing the volunteers you need to organize. if you want to appease those detractors things, but i decided to do things differently. i had the faith and trust, and said, spend it. you get to 1 million, because we have already gotten to 15 million. those moneys have been invested long before now. i am very positive we will have more than enough to carry us
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through november and make sure we have return on our votes and get our voters to the polls because we have made those investments. let me take you inside. come on in. welcome to our little fire pelosi haven. it is a real pleasure to have you guys come aboard and be a part of this. >> what is the idea behind the bus? my t really started to lfrom conversations out around the country. they are saying, no one is listening to us. will you tell so and so this? will you tell a congressman that? i started out and said the, you know, we need to be old representation of the frustration of the american people, their desire to bring about their kind of change. so a colleague of mine said, we
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needed to put you on a bus and send you across america. boom. here we are. this is just one step of many steps we have taken this year to bring new ideas to the table and to really showcase our candidates. we is such an incredible talent of candidates this year, and it is exciting to see them. last year, watching bob mcdonnell and chris christie merge and become the kind of governors that they are, knowing them before that moment, is it just tremendous to see other leadership takes off. watch what happens after this november with the crew we have coming at the local level and nasa repaired >> how did you decide where you are going to be? >> once we decided, we would go to all 48 contiguous states, the question was -- what route did we take? do we go south first or no. first? neil and angela were part of the
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management team for the bus. they put it all together. they started mapping it. most importantly, and this is in the from part, we called up the state parties and said, the chairman is coming -- this is the fun part -- what do you want him to do? the bus is here for them. this is a working office. we have computers. we have printers. we are wired. wireless. it is a great work space. we have a press shop which is right here. this is the press shop. this is our media shot right here. this right here, this is the grilling pad here. this is when the staff accept, i kind of grill -- no, really. i guests come on, and we have the captain's chair for the
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lieutenant government that was in the chair earlier today. he and i got a chance to chat a little bit. and the response we are getting. when we came back out, this was on the bus on the windshield. and so it was another alabama voter who wants to fire pelosi. that is the kind of response we are getting, which is humbling. >> what is life on the road like? >> life on the road, to be honest, is monotonous. you are just driving from one place to another. it is not like you have stops every 20 minutes or half hour. you have long stretches. that part of it you get used to. but it affords you a chance to work. that is when you do a lot of the work, a lot of the e-mails and phone calls and things like that. the business of the rnc is going
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on. i have my files and stuff that i need and am in constant communication with the chairman of around the country on issues pertaining to their states. you fall asleep, take a break, particularly after a long day. we have had several days where we had six or seven events back- to-back. that can be draining. you, and a crash as you are driving to another city overnight -- you come and you crash as you are driving to another city overnight. but it is relaxing. it is a great space to work in. voters vote, and you hope that you have accomplished the mission. >> as far as the day-to-day business of the rnc, with a pledge to america today, is that something that is going to be a house strategy or is that policy that can be given across -- ? >> it is a policy that will go across the entire breadth of the
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party. i mentioned to my group here tonight to remind them that we now have a legislative agenda that has been set out by our legislative leadership. i think it is a very important agenda for us now to strike with the american people. the democrats have spent over year, instead of investing in jobs, investing in the wealth creators of that country, they vilify them. they have not partnered with republicans. they called us the party of no. it is a great tagline, but it is meaningless, because unemployment is still at 10%. the deficit is $1.30 trillion. it is mind-boggling what hapsn't been done. the republican party has spent a year. a small towns and large towns listen to people and coming out with an agenda.
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hopefully, the leadership and the house and senate, they can move the country in a positive direction, investing in small businesses, lowering taxes, getting government regulations off the backs of people and the like. local content vehicles are traveling the country as we look at some of the most closely contested house races leading up to this november's midterm elections. >> for more information on what local content vehicles are up to this election season, visit our web site, c-span.org/lcv. >> on "newsmakers", wyoming senator senator john barrasso discusses what the congressional agenda will be if republicans
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win more seats in the senate this fall, the roles of conservatives and moderates, the bush tax cuts, and the new health care law that took effect thursday. "newsmakers", today at 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> you do not get to choose the moment when the opportunity to shape your country comes your way. all you get to choose is what you do when it does. >> berdych tuffy prime minister nic -- british deputy prime -- clegg defends his position to work with the conservatives in a coalition government. >> judge porteous is accused of decades of corruption, engaging in a kickback scheme with the louisiana law firm, and lying to
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federal agents during background checks for his feet on it -- his seat on the federal bench. one of the witnesses was a former district attorney in jefferson parish who worked with judge porteous. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> thank you, madam chairman. as you know i am one of the lawyers representing judge porteous. can we start by asking you to state your full name for the
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record? [inaudible] i will ask you to give you a little bit of your background in louisiana as an attorney. >> would you turn on your microphone at? it's still not on. can you help him? there we go. >> ok. >> can we begin by asking a little bit about your background as an attorney in louisiana. what is your background as an attorney and prosecutor? >> i graduated from tulane law school in 1960 and was practicing, general practice of law, in jefferson parish for about six years, i guess, and got involved as an assistant
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district attorney in the da's office. my boss was the d.a. for about 20 or 30 years and handled misdemeanors in that court with him. i worked there probably are your sow and eventually worked into handling -- a year or so and eventually worked into handling of felony cases and began doing more and more work. i never intended to be a criminal lawyer. i always thought i would be assembled -- but it grew on me. so i stayed in doing that work until some time in 1968, i think, i was promoted by my boss to the executive assistant to begin doing more and more work in the area of organizing the office and prosecution. in 1972, my boss retired and i
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was named as his replacement by the governor at that time and had an election that year. i was named d.a. in april. and in august, i was elected for a full, six year term. in 1972. and got elected three more times after that for six year terms. when i retired in 1996, i had 24 years as the d.a. and six years as an assistant. i had 30 years and then retired. one of my assistants, who was my first assistant at the time, came to the d.a. under the change and he ran against another ex one of my assistance,
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who won the race between the two of them, and he is still the d.a. >> you were 30 years total with the district attorney's office, then? >> yes. >> was it true that you began in the district attorney in 1972 and retired in 1996? >> i.t. gain in the office in 1968, or 1968 -- i began in the office in 1968, or 1966, and stayed until i finished in 1996. >> as his attorney, that began in 1972? >> d.a. for 1972, and april i got appointed. >> is it true that your district attorney during the entire period of when judge porteous was both a prosecutor and a state judge, since he took the bench in 1994?
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>> yes, i think, i met judge porteous in 1972. my office was working with the attorney general's office of the state and he sent down two young lawyers to assistance in the case. one of them was judge porteous. tom stayed. we were hiring and i hired tom as an assistant, and he was with me until he ran for a judge, district judge, which was probably 12 years or something later. >> just to wrap up on your background, did you have occasion to be appointed by the governor to the prison overcrowding policy task force? >> yes, i think i was appointed to many task. forces. that was probably one because we had a serious overcrowding in this state jails. i don't remember any of the
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specific meetings, but there were times when we would try to get the sheriff's to work closely with the state corrections department which ran the state prisons and made sure that all of them were doing fine and do the right thing to make -- to keep the overcrowding down. we were constantly hit with the federal courts on overcrowding. >> i want to return to that in the second, but i would like to pick up on what you said earlier about when you first met judge porteous. was that around 1972? >> i will guess 1972, or the end of 1972. it might have even been 1973. she was assigned to work with my staff from the attorney general's office. and there were two of them. and after he was there, we offered him a job.
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he wanted to stay. and we hired him as an assistant d.a. and put him in screening and misdemeanor stuff until he got some experience. >> is it true, then, that he stayed an assistant district attorney until the became a judge? >> yes, i think my recollection is that he was an assistant d.a. until such time as he decided to run for judges. i was a state district court judgeship. >> you said until he got some experience. did he eventually become one of your seasoned prosecutors? >> yes, he did very well with prosecution, and he started off with misdemeanors. he was assigned to work with one of my supervisors at that time, and i had some policies -- the assistant d.a. would be
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assigned to a particular division of court. eventually, i think there were 16 at district court divisions. jefferson parish, judge, both civil and criminal. i would get probably 40% of the criminal, andin 60% in criminal. i had an assistant assigned to each division and a supervisory assistant to supervise three or four divisions, depending on what was assigned to whatever division. i would not keep them in the same division for more than about six months. then i would move them to another one, so that the d.a. and the judge would not be too close. i would move them from division to division, about six months or more, there would be assigned. he eventually became a supervisor.
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he was handling some of the bigger cases, like some of my more experienced people. tom eventually became a supervisor. he decided to run for a vacancy and he won. >> he supported him for that vacancy? >> yes. i guess if it was one of my people, i would support them if they were worth it. >> what was your impression in terms of being worthy of the court? >> they had to know the law, have a good work ethic in my office. tom was a good prosecutor and did good work. >> and did you continue to interact with judge porteous after he became a state judge? >> not really. we met with the judges from time to time when there was something
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that had to be done on some kind of -- some judge and d.a.'s meeting, but the judges, they operated on their own, from their divisions. i would see them from time to time, but i did not participate directly. >> when he became a judge, what was the reputation he developed as a judge? >> from the criminal law standpoint, he did a good job. we measured a good job in the fact that he kept his stock at current -- his docket current. he would work with the district and a d.a. to try to said cases and bring them to trial and going forward with the cases, and he was one of the ones that had a current docket, which was important to d.a.'s at that time. >> some judges would allow the
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cases to lag or go on? >> some of them would allow other defendants to continue cases a lot more input as in an awkward position. >> and did judge porteous have a reputation for moving cases along? >> yes. we had a good relationship in my office and the da's office. most of the judge's worked pretty good with us on that type of thing. >> and did you hear back from the assistant d.a.'s on how they viewed judge porteous? >> supervisors and assistance had no complaint. the judge ran a good office from the standpoint of a trial, his rulings were accurate and good in most instances. kind of like a referee in that case. he knew the law. his decisions were generally
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good. if we did not like your ruling, in my assistant would object and take allred, he would ask the supervisor to do some research -- 0r take a write. . we took writs all the time. then we would go to the circuit court of appeals. it was just like -- i did not generally allow all my assistance to recommend sentencing. i said to the judges, look, i do not ask you which cases i would prosecute, and i do not want you asking my assistance for recommendations on sentencing. that was basically what we did. >> did you have occasion to be interviewed by the fbi as part of judge porteous's 1994 background check? >> i do not recall it, but i am sure i did, because all of the federal judges that got appointed in that area, an fbi agent would ask questions. they could come from different
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parishes. we had judge pat carr, that was appointed before, and yes, they would come and talk to me. >> do you recall saying that he felt -- you felt he had a good reputation? >> i expect that he did a good job. he did a fine job. i had no problem with them. i do not recall the specifics. >> i will return you to something you touched on earlier with regards to overcrowding. you mentioned that overcrowding was a serious problem in louisiana. can you describe, particularly in jefferson county, where the overcrowding problems were in the 1970's, 1980's, and the 1990's? >> jefferson had a share of and we had -- had a sheriff and we
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had different police agencies that could make arrests. there were six cities with the chief of police. there was a sheriff with the state police. there were two levee districts that had policeman. any of those would make arrests and bring them to lock up and drop them off and get them booked. so we had an old jail originally, and it was always overcrowded. and then there were serious times when the overcrowding was enough where there was that old case named holland v. jefferson parish, filed in federal district court in new orleans, alleging overcrowding and improper handling of inmates. was on theugeben
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case at the time. there really was no defense. there was overcrowding. so that case was moved from ruben's office in new orleans to baton rouge, and another judge took over. and jefferson parish to build a new jail but it was all so overcrowded, filled up quickly. so the judge had decided to take all of the cases, and he was in charge of all of them. they set amounts per jail, how many people could be there. our sheriff was put in a position -- he told the sheriffs if you were overcrowding for a period of time, i will hold your into contempt. we had a serious overcrowding problem. jefferson was a growing parish of 450,000 at the time.
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we had a lot of people being brought to the jail. >> to understand how these court orders work, is it accurate to say that eventually the court order said that maximum level so that if you put in someone, someone had to be released? >> well, i think he told the sheriff yes. later, they would have the opportunity to put them in a locked up for 24-36 hours. you could not put them in a permanent cell. you have overcrowding at that time, you tried to move them out. i am not going to be held in contempt, you have a judge that said, i cannot just turn somebody lose. so when that happens, i will let you know. i will turn them loose, you will you have to tell me who to turn
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loose. they wanted to keep the more violent people in jail, but let 60 the others in jail for days. i did not produce a tape in that, because it was between the judges and the sheriff's office -- i did not participate in that because it was between the judges and the sheriff's office primarily. >> was a concern for the district attorney's office that so many people were being released because of these court overcrowding? >> it was being handled very well by the sheriff and the judges. they had a community magistrate. what we did, and the judge brought in the da's, we objected, and he wanted the district attorney to get a jail list every day and check to see who are in jail and how many -- did we get reports?
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under law in louisiana, you arrest somebody, technically speaking, you are supposed to file a charge within 48 hours. very often, we would not get a charge filed. we did not get it for a long time, in some cases. so we started having a daily assign to get a daily jail everybody inwe knew jail, and if they were over 72 hours and we've conducted a file reported with the d.a.'s office, i would send a letter to the chief of the arresting officer, the chief of police, on such and such a day, "x" was arrested, these are the charges, and we have not received ofa report yet.
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a lot of times, we may just one, and that would be in effect on how they set the bond or anything else. >> in terms of a busy weekend for the parish, was it possible in a single weekend for a couple hundred people to be released due to overcrowding? >> you mean a busy weekend because of people getting arrested? >> yes, sir. >> i cannot say for sure, but that would not be unusual, if we had a big party going on, to have quite a few of arrests. coming from any one of those communities. >> and the judge you just mentioned, the sheriff that could be held under contempt -- was that sheriff lee? >> yes. >> and is it correct that he was
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saying that he could hold not just share of -- sheriff lee in contempt --? >> i think that was probably a standing order. of all the parishes that had overcrowding. >> people may not be familiar with court orders for overcrowding and mandatory releases. is it accurate that when you are released under a court order for overcrowding, you are released on your own recognizance? >> that depends on the judge. in jefferson, we had any work, depending on the time, anywhere from 16 district judges. i can remember that when there were 8, 9, or 10. you get the state legislatures to authorize another judge. those judges would set bond. they would also assist them. they were together, i think,
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they would assign one judge over the weekend as the darfur judge. just like i had a duty assistant all the time. -- they would at the sign one judge over the weekend -- assign one judge over the weekend as a duty judge. sometimes you did not have a lawyer. it was a justice of the peace. they would be available at the jail to set bonds. they would set a bond with what they saw from the police, what the charges were. if you had someone charged with resisting arrest, dwi, whatever it is, those of big accounts you were booked for. and the bonds that the magistrate would set a bond for. >> i would like to return to how those bonds were set. to close the circle, if you did not have a bond put on you
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during this period of overcrowding, did that mean that he would be released on your own recognizance? >> yes, i think it happened. but they would generally have a bonds said. when i said they have a bond set, that does not mean they made bond. the way bonds are made -- $20,000. the judge could be, your bond is $20,000, i will release you on your own recognizance based upon mom or daddy with a property bond or a commercial shirturety bond. >> now, if you did not have a bond, the only way you would return to court is if you filled your promise to return to court, correct? >> everybody got arrested had bond. somebody would say, the judge or
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magistrate, whether he made bond or not, but if they released him on his own recognizance, it is recognizance on that amount of the bond. technically of bond. if they did not show up, then the sheriff's office, the d.a.'s office, somebody did not show up, my assistance would ask the court to issue an attachment for the rest of the person and cancel the bond. based on that, and that what happened and somebody would try, initially the sheriff's office would try to locate them and bring them in. if we could not locate them, they would stay out as a fugitive. >> and was there a problem in jefferson parish of people not coming back to court during this period of overcrowding? >> if they made a phone call or something, basically there was nobody looking for the numbers of people who work out on, maybe on recognizance course did not
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show up -- on recognizance or did not show up. during a commercial bond, say it's a $30,000 bond, he would have a bondsman, who would be trying to represent him to try to get bond on that portion or some portion of it, and so the judge or the magistrate would say, we would authorize a commercial bonds for $10,000 and the balance would be on your own personal recognizance or a personal surety from your dadydy, and that would total about the amount of the bond. if he did not show up, i had a whole section dealing with bonds in my office. if they did not show up at the arraignment, then they would rule for forfeiture of the bonds and attachment.
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if it was a commercial bond, under the law, i think commercial bonds had six bondsmen, commercial insurance companies had 60 days to find a person and bring them in before we present the judgment. then we would have a fee of $10,000, and still have an attachment out for that person. >> e stated if someone is released on their own recognizance, there were not -- you stated if someone is released on their own recognizance, you would not have someone out looking for them. >> there might be the first day. the first time he did not show up, we would have some information. we would ask the sheriff -- and it depends on the crime. if it came out of the narcotics case, out of a dealer who had been interested in one of those guys, those guys would sometimes look for the people. basically, if it was traffic or some misdemeanor offense, there
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were too many attachments outstanding. and they did not look. if they happened to get stuff on a speeding ticket and there was an outstanding attachment, then they would bring them back in on a warrant. but if they did not, there would be an attachment go out, and i would be spread out all to the other jurisdictions. >> and if someone had a bond on them ho, there would be a bondsmen that would also look for him, correct? >> if the bonding company had a representative or whatever, they knew if they did not find them, they would win or lose that money. so the bondsmen would have people that went out and look for them. most of them and the companies had people who went out and actually look for these people and bring them in. >> people -- these people were
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often called on the jumpers -- bond jumpers? >> they would look for them because they had a reason. they would lose cash. if it was a house of somebody, if they came in with a property bond, we would proceed against that residents or whatever piece of property. most people usually did not have anybody like the bond people had people to go out and look. if it were a relative, they would call their son or somebody to try to get them to come in because it would lose their house of you do not come in. >> i would like to show you, 1134, and i will represent you this exhibit is an article showing a different rates at which criminal defendants failed to appear at court. that is, whether they are
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released on their own recognizance or released on bond. i submit further that this report suggests there is a much higher rate of people coming back if they are on a bond. i wrote -- a lot and i want to ask you about is on page 26. i will read the line to you to see if this is also your experience. the study found that defendants released uninsured bonds -- on surety bonds are 28% less likely to appear then that the fed is released on their own recognizance. is that also your experience? >> absolutely, because the bonding company or the insurance company, they knew they would have their bond forfeited, and they would have to go to find them. >> madam chair, we would like to
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move exhibit 11434 into the record. >> no objection. >> it will be received. >> to return to jefferson parish, during that period, did the court system start to use split bonds? >> i do not know where that term comes from, but what it really was, in effect, say the bond was $30,000, and the judge wood said whether it would be a property bond, or if a guy came in and said, i have a piece of property worth the $10,000, some bondsmen went ahead and said this family is willing to put up 10% of a $10,000 bond. that was used in what the fee was for the bond. that is $1,000. -- that is usually what the fee was for the bond. they would put down a $10,000 commercial bond, $10,000
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property bond, or $10,000 personal bond on a daddy in recognizance. in effect, you are splitting the amount. but most of the judges would not be upset with that because you have some portion of it in the form of a commercial surety. it meant that they would have a better opportunity that they would come to court, because that would forfeit the bond. >> is it true that most judges did execute split bonds? >> if that is what you want to call in. my office did not participate in setting the bonds, and we were not at the jails or anything like that. the bonds i said, the magistrate or somebody or the defendant, you would hire a lawyer, if
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you're in jail on a bond of whatever amount was there, can we do it regardless? they would talk to them outside of our presence. d.a. did not have a charge or record or anything on that. the only time we participated is if we had a call from let's say the narcotics squad or detective bureau saying that they had somebody that is a flight risk or has a bad reputation or bad record, and we will ask the court to set a high bond, would you have an assisted available at the hearing? if there is going to be a reduction of bond, or a motion to service, my people would go in at that time. the only other time would be is if there was a violent criminal and the police did not want him out. so we would then recommend that he does not get reduced in the hearing.
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otherwise, we left it up to the court. we would not participate in fines, because we had a deal problem. a lot of the judges wanted to make sure the guy shows back up. but if he was a flight risk, had a bad reputation -- i can remember one, the boyfriend of some girl who had a baby and he burned it with cigarettes. had a deal on the. we went in and ask kemper -- and asked him not to be released because we knew he would take off. we had a big fight between us in the federal court. ultimately, the judge recounted and they left the bond as it was.
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>> in the cases you described in which you would be involved, generally did the judge go with the recommendation of the district attorney in those cases? >> if we had some knowledge of the request of the police or something monstrous, we would say why, but generally they would take a look at it before they would release somebody, especially if he was likely to take off, if he was a risk. >> do you recall any case where the judge rejected a bond over the objections of the district attorney? >> i would not have been in that particular courtroom.
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i do not recall that for any of the judges. if it was a routine thing and the judge did not do it, we would proceed, that is all. that is in the discretion of the accord. >> we have been referring to split bonds, both in the house and the defense. did you see anything wrong with split bonds? >> absolutely not. the judge could say, no, i want the property bond. i want it all in commercial. on a led him off or whatever. -- let him off or whatever. we were always more pleased if there was some sort of commercial bond involved. >> you mentioned the when people are arrested, and eventually a
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bond is said. it was a sometimes the case -- eventually a bond is set. was it sometimes the case that a bond was set too high because of charges later being reduced? >> sometimes the bond is set with the judge that is on call. maybe they said a guy up with a $100,000 bond for armed robbery or something like that. the judge will say, i will put 100 belsen dollar bond on him until we can get a better look -- a $100,000 bond on him until we can get a better look at him tomorrow. not only that, you could add four or five counts to somebody. the magistrate would put a bond on each one of those counts. when i got to my office, we
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might say we were only accepting two, resisting arrest, dwi, threatening an officer, or some of those things we would not charge, and therefore the amount set on that count -- we would not have to make a bond on it because we would not prosecute on that account. but sometimes it would take weeks. we would call the police on more serious cases. they would try to be good to the bringing the charges then as quickly as possible. >> i want to talk more about the mechanics of the system. is it accurate to say that jefferson parish often had a magistrate judge that was a sign for a week by rotation? >> i do not know how long they assigned them. they would put one of the judges on duty to receive calls, to sign warrants, but to sign
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whatever it was the was available to the sheriff's office or any police agencies to go in and get a warrant for a rest. arrest.rrant for res the magistrate or the justice of the peace were in there just to set bonds. they usually set bond based on what the charge was. they would play the ball park. that would hold them until something happened. >> looking at those magistrate judges that did this, was it true that some of the judges were better than others in performing that duty? >> some judges would not be available so detectives would have to go find another judge.
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any district judge could signed a warrant. they couldn't find the judge to was supposed to do it, they would go find another judge before the guy took off. >> and so, your detectives would call on judges who were not magistrates and say, we really need to have this done, we cannot reach the magistrate judge? >> they would try to accommodate them. go see judges such-and-such. they would call up the judge. i cannot find him in new york city or arrests -- i cannot find him in the city or a sign a judge. can we talk to you about a warrant? they would accommodate them. that was among the judges. it had nothing to do with us. >> were some judges simply more
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available? >> sure, that is normal. >> when they go to this judge for that service? >> i would do not know. i would assume he was available. he was a good prosecutor and he understood. >> i just want to be certain about one thing. putting aside the term split bond, which we have been using, was your understanding that this judge invented split bonds, or did many judges use split bonds? >> i do not know where the term comes from. someone being arrested for a charge and then he is in jail, so he calls mommy or daddy, and they come over there to try to see what the thing is and what it is going to take to get him out.
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the police would say, here is what the bond is that has been set. they would have to put up something. there would be a bondsmen lurking around to try to get their business. they would talk to the family and say, it is a $25,000 bond, is going to cost you $2,500, that is what the amount is. if they did not have them, they would tell them, that means you cannot get out of gel -- of jail. they would get a lawyer may be an call ed judge and say the family cannot -- in most instances if there was a commercial bond, the family prefer deadpan -- preferred it.
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>> let me ask you another aspect of that bond is system. is it accurate to say that during the time we are talking about, roughly the 1980's and marcotts had at the corner on the business of the bonds and? >> that is what it appears now. i did not know that at the time. they were very aggressive and did a lot of bond word. that is how they make their money. >> is this your understanding that they had roughly 90% of the bond business? >> i cannot answer that. i can tell you that after i was gone, one of them was indicted, and several deputies were indicted for giving preference and notifying them when people went to jail. i guess the first bondsman there
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would have and hand up -- have a hand up on trying to get the bond put together. >> you are familiar with the federal investigation? >> it happened after i was gone, but yes. >> you have never been charged with any ethics violations? >> not that i am aware of. >> and you have never been charged with anything else? >> i am very disappointed with what happened with that. they deserved it. >> was the judge ever an unindicted co-conspirator in that case? >> i do not think so. i would have known if it came out of the u.s. attorney's office. two judges had been assistant district attorneys. one of them was a good assistant district attorney when he was a
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good prosecutor. they had judge greene on-camera taking money from the bondsman. they both were convicted. >> was it your understanding that they investigated all of the judges in the judicial district? >> madam chair. i object. this witness says the object -- this witness says the investigation took place long after he left office. he should not be asked about something that happened when he was no longer a district attorney. >> i withdraw the question. >> a judge made the statement about a comment from another
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judge about never having to buy lunch as a judge. had you read that comment? >> i heard it here on c-span. >> that judge testified last week that he was relaying a joke made by this judge in front of other people. is that consistent with your knowledge of the judge, that he was given to those types of jokes? >> i am sure he could have been. judges, lawyers in jefferson parish very often go to dinner and go to lunches, what have you. as long as they maintain their own ethics problems with it, we had a very active judicial ethics in the state, and you did
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not very often have lawyers and judges, too my knowledge, i go out and talk about the case. on the criminal side, led the district attorneys and public defenders would work together all the time. we would not go to lunch with them, but there was always a close relationship with the d.a.'s and the indigent people. i had an open policy that we would allow defense attorneys [unintelligible] to the point is, if there was not a good defense attorney, it was not good for the prosecution because your case would be overturned. the lawyer would be called incompetent and we would have to try the case again. i helped get the funding for the indigent defense office in
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jackson perish because i wanted them to have competent lawyers because it caused me more problems. >> let me return to the relationship between lawyers that you just discussed. can you give me an idea of the community itself? was it a small community where lawyers and judges knew each other? >> it is a parish in jefferson where the courthouse was. it is a smaller town that has been there a long time. there are two-three restaurants. lawyers to operated in jefferson came from all over, from the east bank, new orleans, but they all knew each other. at lunch time, they would go to
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some of the little restaurant. so yes, there was a small, as so to speak, the judges, the lawyers, the prosecutors grew up together. they went to high school together. sure they knew each other. >> was a fairly common that judges and lawyers would go out to lunch together? >> sure. >> was also common for lawyers to pay for lunches to -- lunges for judges? >> that would not be unusual. as far as i am aware of, yes. >> were you aware of any rules after 1990 that said that a judge could not accept a lunch from a lawyer? >> i was not aware of any rule. i cannot imagine alleged cohen -- a judge going to lunch with any lawyer he did not like. i knewf the judges h
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would not allow anything unethical to take place. their own ethics would stop them. >> is it fair to say that you were never concerned about any judge being swayed by lunches? >> particularly not in a criminal case. we try the cases. if the jury found them guilty, we would find them guilty. if there was a non-jury trial, that was up to the court. i would not object on a sentence or comment on the sentence the judge made. i may disagree with that, but unless it was an illegal sentence, and we need to call it to their attention and tell them they could not do that, and if they did it anyway, there was a rift. >> was a common for lawyers and judges -- was a common for
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lawyers to give gifts to the judge's? >> at christmas and things they would send things to the judges. i did not do it. in would think they would give them this. it is not unreasonable to do something like that. >> would concern you as a prosecutor to know that gives were given to a particular judge by lawyers or others? >> send them a bottle of whiskey or herbed baked the mckay, a would not know about that -- or bake them a cake, i would not know about that, but it would not bother me. >> we have talked a lot about expunge meant in this case.
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expansionisungements are allowed specifically under louisiana law, are they not? >> in our office, we would allow something almost like a plea bargain. if we allow someone to plead to something like an 893, that would mean they would get parole or something, and if the judge would give it to them, then they could come back at the end and clean the record. >> and those were fairly common? >> particularly for young people in kids that did not have records. the court had a lot of discretion, the judges. >> the purpose of this was to give someone a second chance? >> that is the purpose for the whole loaw.
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>> would be typical for someone who committed a crime at the age of 1717 years previously, is that the case where it -- at the age of 17, 17 years previously, is that the kind of case where you would seek an expungement. >> things like dwi is and what have you would automatically go off the person's record after 10 years. it is not unusual for the court to do that, but it had to be with the court's approval. >> is a generally true that your office did not object to expungements in most cases?
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>> it would depend on what the background of the guy was. if he was serious about an objection, he would tell his supervisor or the appeal man and on aould file a formal writte bit. most of the time, if the judge wanted to do it, he had to live with that more than anybody else and he is the one who would do it. >> i want to talk about two expungements. the first involves a reverend. the judge had a hearing for a motion filed under the reverence behalf seeking eight set aside for a prior conviction filed under -- seeking a set- aside for a prior conditiand conviction filed under an 893.
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mr. reynolds does not object in the hearing, but i want to ask if it is at that hearing where usually any objection would be heard to a set aside? >> he could voices objection into the record. >>-mr. reynolds ever come to you to raise any concerns about that set aside? >> i do not recall. he would go to the appeals person who would have that. expungements , would not normally come to me. >> are you aware of mr. reynolds
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coming to you to make an objection about the set aside or the judgment? >> no. >> if he had come to you with concerns, would he have been punished in any way? >> absolutely not. if there are repercussions, his supervisor would come in and tell me. improperly done, that it wasn't following the law, in which case we'd say, no, you can't do that. we would have used the portion of the law an say, judge, you made a mistake. sometimes like a judge gives a sentence that's improper. like a sentence on an armed robbery where he didn't do certain things. it's mandatory. if we caught that we'd go back and say, judge, you made a mistake on this sentence and we're going to ask that it be
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redone because it doesn't follow the law. nobody would get punished for that. he would give his opinion why he was doing it. >> now, mr. mamoulides, we had an expungement for an individual named jeff duhon. i wanted to just ask you, in that case, there -- we showed evidence of one judge signing an order in a case from a different division. was there anything wrong with a judge in a case like that of signing an order from a different division? >> no, all of the district judges were the technically the same in authority. and the rules that they'd make among themselves was between them. for one judge to change something while another judge did, you have to assume, or we would assume that he would have talked to that judge. if he didn't, that judge and he would have to have a battle about it, but it was illegal to
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do that and the judge may have something coming up and may not be there. any judge could theoretically do that. it didn't happen often. in the old days when i first was there, a lot of the judges wouldn't take criminal cases. so among themselves they would say, only three judges are going to take criminal and we're going to -- those are the ones that are going to do it. that got to the point where we couldn't get anything done. i was a d.a., i came to the judges and said, i want -- i'd like to have all the cases set by -- allotted across the board. felonies, relative felonies, capital cases. each allotted separately so that one judge wouldn't get all the capital cases which took so much time. so we put balls in a thing and they had different ones and there were still things happening. some judges were getting -- i would send an athis tant. every day i sent an assistant down to witness the drawing of the balls out of those things to
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make sure we're even and the judges couldn't play games. they wanted to change among themselves, they could do that, but one judge didn't get all of the death cases or whatever it is. and then fall way behind on his regular docket. but there was absolutely -- a judge doing something for another judge is legal and it's legal on the rord. they have to make that change themselves. it wasn't up to us. we couldn't do anything. we would be bound by whatever happened with the judge in making that. but that judge and the judges' rules among themselves. say, don't you sign one for me. would you take care of this? i don't know what went on. it would be a legal thing and we would assume that's how it went. >> it would be helpful to get some understanding of how these cases develop. you talked about expungements. am i correct, there's first a motion to set aside before any
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expungement occurs, correct? >> well, now, it depes on how -- the expungement in itself -- let's say we got a guy on a charge that is -- that could be an expunge bl charge. if he pleads guilty under this particular article, which in itself says that if he -- if the judge sentences him, gives him probation and if when he completes that probation he would automatically be able to come in, his lawyer to file a motion to expunge because he successfully has done what he was told to do. okay? that would be fine. we would not object to that and it would get done. a lot of time the d.a.'s office, we didn't want that to happen. we'd say, no, we're going to object to a plea -- we didn't charge people on the 893. we charged them for a crime. >> right. >> and if we didn't agree to it, then we'd say no. the judge had great discretion.
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he said, fine. i'm going to do it anyway. the judge had discretion to give them a charge. the sentencing could be expunged, but generally speaking that would be done with the d.a. and the assistant and not me, but the assistant d.a. and the defense lawyers. say would you all accept, if he pleads guilty, to an expungem t expungement? i'd say, they'd look at it, and say if it didn't fall into the category which was allowed them to do it, we would say no then it wasp to the court. >>ow, you referred to expungements as automatic. expungements at that point automatic or ministerial? >> they're not automatic. if they didn't come back and file for that expungement to seal that record and show it, then it didn't happen. finishes probation and stayed open as a guilty plea and whatever it is, even though it was under 893. some action, as i recall, had to be taken by the defendant or his attorney when everything was completed to come in and do it.
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that expunged the record. that meant the record couldn't be picked up. >> now, in this se, in the duhon matter, we earlier looked at an order signed by judge richards setting aside a sentence in that case. when you have set aside motion like that, isn't that the key motion that you look at? >> on that type of thing, yes, it would have been the key motion that would to it. >> as opposed to the expungement. >> set aside -- there are some rules in law, if it happened after they tried to change the sentence after the sentence was being executed, there was some statues that didn't allow the court to do that. they couldn't go back and change it once it was being executed, okay? >> that's -- that's all my questions for now, mr. mamoulides. thank you very much. i can pass the witness. >> thank you, mr. turley.
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cross-examination. >> mr. mamoulides, when you first became the district attorney, did assistant district attorneys have some power to set bonds in certain cases? >> yes. when i became an assistant in 19 -- i think it was 66 -- i was shocked one day when i get a call at home from a bondsman saying he had such and such in jail and said, i want you to set a bond. i said, do what? i'd never done any criminal law, per se. i said, no, i'm not doing that. and the next day i met with the d.a. and talked about it and he said, yeah, the law allows
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assistant d.a.s to set bond. i id, i don't want to do that and don't think you ought to be doing it. for a time we talked. i found out then every public official in new orleans had bonds set in authority. even if they weren't -- so as things went on further and i became very active with the d.a. association, i got frank to agree to let mgo to baton rouge and revoke that. no d.a. had right to set bond. with that, frank told all the assistants, don't set bonds. we didn't set bonds. >> back at the time before the change was made, back in the time when assistant d.a.s could set bonds, did you become aware of a practice of, i think the bail bondsman, mr. habert, you mentioned, givg gifts to
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assistant d.a.s? >> that's the same year. i was appointed i ocber i think of that. that same year i got a gift certificate sent to my house for, like, $80 worth of something. i brought it to frank, i said, who is this? he is my boss. he told me, well -- i said, i don't want it. i'm not taking that and gave it back. and when i did become d.a., i wouldn't allow my assistants to take anything from bondsmen or anybody. >> why is it you didn't want your assistant d.a.s to take gifts from bondsmen? >> nothing wrong with it, per se, but there was -- it was obvious that at that time when they would set bonds, that'shy it was there. they would -- it would be ease city to call an assistant d.a. at home and get a bond set and look for a judge. all that ended at that point. and a man who had been around
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for a long time, he knew all the judges. they put on christmas parties and do all kinds of stuff. we didn't all that. >> so it's fair to say, mr. mamoulides, that you put an end to this practice of bondsmen giving gifts to the d.a.s because you didn't want the d.a.'s beholden to the bails bondmen, correct? >> yes. >> you thought there was something in the bondsmen giving gifts to people who can set -- that's -- >> please let me finish. am i right about that? >> yes, sir. >> if you didn't think it was appropriate for deputy d.a.s to take gifts from a bondsman, how would you feel about a judge takes gifts from a bondsman? >> i didn't know about any specifically. on christmas, like you said, people give christmas presents. that's up to the judge. if he wanted to accept it whatever, that's fe. it wasn't illegal to do that. >> so mr. moulides, your
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testimony is you wouldn't want a deputy d.a. taking a gift but you're okay with a judge taking a gift? >> i didn't say it was okay. the d.a., assistant d.a.s, i didn't want them taking presents from bondsmen. >> it would concern you if a deputy d.a. did it but wouldn't concern you if a judge did it? >> a judge didn't work for me. i was responsible for assistant d.a.s. i wouldn't have known except when i got that one and i told the assistants after i became d.a., nobody cannot accept a gift tsh. >> as d.a. did you accept gifts from brondsmen? >> no. >> as d.a. did you accept expensive lunches with bondsmen? >> i never went to lunch. >> did you allow bondsmen to do car repairs for you? >> no. >> home repairs for you? >> no. >> what would you think of a judge who did home repairs for him? >> if he was an old friend or
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something, that's up to him. judicial ethics are different. that's what he has to live with. not me. i wouldn'tave known about it anyway >> your view would laysayfair, let a bondsman do whatever for a judge? >> if i investigated something like that, but that's a -- you know, it could have been his brother. who knows who the bondsman is. i didn't have knowledge until i read some of this stuff on that. i didn't know specifically of any instances until -- >> as d.a., would it concern you that a judge who's setting bond on defendants that you're charging is getting home repairs and car repairs and gifts from a bondsman? that wouldn't concern you? >> i don't think -- setting bond, again, that's, again -- we stayed away. we wouldn't recommend bond and being set. it was always doneithout a d.a. there. that could be in the middle of the night or whatever it is. >> my question, wouldn't it
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concern you a judge who's s setting bond in cases you're prosecuting, activities you want to show up in court is getting car repairs and home repairs and gifts and expensive lunches and trips to vegas from the bail bondsman? wouldn't that concern you? >> well, it doesn't concern me if the bond got set. as far as i'm concerned if the bond was set and it's a commercial bond or what have you, it's only if they don't show up if court i would get concerned. we would automatically forfeit the bond and ask for a -- the pracce of setting -- everybody's entitled to bond. whatever they set it at, it's discretion of the court and based on the background and what happened. that doesn't mean that just because they had a -- he set the bond that there's something wrong with it. >> so if the judge -- let's say the judge was getting cash from the bondsman. >> that would be -- >> as long as the bonds get set, you don't care? >> if i knew about it, i would think it was wrong. of cash, to pay a judge to do something. >> you think it's fine to take all of the gifts in leiu of
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cash? >> would not have known that. you're saying that as if -- it wasn't up to me to go by and ask a judge monday morning, did you get any money for this? >> i'm asking if you knew. i'm asking you -- >> as far as i'm concerned -- >> if you have a concern -- i'm asking, would you have a concern as zepty d.a. the judge setting bond and determining in part whether your defendants show up in court so you can prosecute them is getting all kinds of favors, trips to vega car reir, home repairs, free lunches, would it concern you if you knew that? >> i don't think it would be a problem at that point. >> you concede that would be improper ethically? >> improper, i wouldn't want my assistants having at that time to have -- be able to have a bondsman come call them on the phone and go get something done for them. okay, i wouldn't -- that was a
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portion of the district attorney -- bonds got set by the judge. we didn't recommend bonds uess we were specifically asked by the sheriff's office or somebody else on a flight problem or whatever. it was done without us being there before we got a charge. i didn't want my people participating in that. >> you asked a lot of questions about the prison overcrowding system. >> sorry, what? >> you were asked a lot of questions about the prison overcrowding situation. let me ask you a different question. how would you feel about a judge setting bonds not with an eye to the prison overcrowding, but for the purpose of maximizing the profits of a bail bdsman who's doing him favors? how would you feel about that? >> well, i don't know if that -- you ask me hypothetical question whether he knows that's maximizing it or not. if a bond is being -- >> mr. mamoulides, you've testified to the -- >> objection. objection. counsel is not allowing the witness to finish his answer.
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i object that he should allow the answer to be put on the record. >> overruled. >> mr. mamoulides, you testified to the character of mr. porteous. i'd like t ask you how this would affect your opinion of his character and reputation. how would you feel about a judge setting bonds not with an eye toward prison overcrowding but with an eye toward maximizes the profits of a bail bondsman doing him fars. what would you think about the character of a judge who would do that? >> y're asking me at a time -- i mean, i don't -- it's hard to answer the question. i n't think it's proper, of course, but when the jail was overcrowded and the bond had to be set, the bond was generally set by a magistrate before whatever it is. what the type of bond would be set would be -- could be either be a commercial or add a commeral to a recognizance to a personal -- >> mr. mamoulides, you recognize
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that would be improper, right? >> that would be what? >> it would be improper for the judge to be setting the bond. >> i wouldn't know what his reason. >> i understand. i'm not asking you whether you knew he was doing this at the time. my question is, would it affect your opinion of his character if you knew that he was setting bonds to maximize the profits of a bondsman that was paying for his trips and his car repairs and his home repairs? would that -- >> if that were true -- >> would tt affect -- >> if that were true i would not like it, but at the same time i don't know how -- i can't imagine the judge setting a bond to maximize anything for somebody else. it's a bond that gets set -- if they could make that bond he'd rather have a commercial surety, because there's a better chance of that person coming back to court. so -- his reasons for doing that, i don't know that. >> mr. mamoulides, if a bondsman
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were to tell a judgethis is the point i want you to set a abandon, because this is the maximum amount i can ring out of the family. you can set a bond for a lower amount and he'll show up. if you set it at this amount, my profits will be maximum. will you do that for me, judge? how do you feel about a judge who does that? >> if he did that it would be improper. i think if the bondsman -- i can't imagine a judge letting the bondsman tell him what to set on it. he would make it his decion on what he thought the people could -- what the amount of that surety bond would be. >> you'd agree that would be unethical, wouldn't you? >> well, if was accurate and coect, yeah, it would be unethical if it were true. >> were you aware at the time, mr. mamoulides, that in fact, louis marcotte was paying for enumerable expensive lunches for the judge? >> no. >> did you know they were paying for trips for the judge to vegas?
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>> no. i had read that recently. i'd been gone since '96. >> did you know t marcottes were having the two people mr. turley asked you about, employees of the bail bonds business, mr. harris and mr. duhon, did you know he was having them car repairs for the judge? >> no. >> did you know he was having them do home repairs for the judge? >> no, i wasn't there. >> if the judge had asked you whether you had any objection to his setting asi a conviction of one of louis marcotte's employees, doing him favor, car repairs and home repairs. what would you think of that request? >> i would tell him it's wrong. >> i take it he never asked you if he approved? >> i never recall anybody asking me about those.
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>> you would have said, no, that's wrong? >> i would tell him, don't do it, for that reason. if that's the reason he would give me. and if that's the reason the bondsman -- >> mr. mamoulides, i think you sa with respect to -- we were on the subject of mr. duhon, that this was a case where another judge was assigned the case. another judge had passed the sentence. another judge had done a post-sentence change. >> right. >> but judge porteous pulled the file and did the expungement, himself. that would be unusual, wouldn't it? >> objection to the question. there's no evidence that he pulled the file. the question assumes a fact not in evidence. >> if that would have happened -- >> excuse me. i'm going to sustain the
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objection. reword the question, if you would, please. >> it would be unusual, wouldn't it, for a judge in which another judge has hdled both the original sentence and dification sentence, it would be unusual for another judge to take the folder from the other -- the first judge's department and handle the expungement. that would be unusual, wouldn't it? >> same objection, madame chair. that fact is not in evidence. >> if you could just omit the part of pulling the file. >> thank you, madame chair. it would be unusual for a judge to intervene in a sentencing matter that was currently being handled by another judge, wouldn't it? >> i would guess it would be unual, but it's not -- we have judges that would be absent or be in the hospital, what hve you, and the judge would handle their business or if the judge talked to somebody, maybe one judge couldn't get there. i would assume, first of all, it was legal, i would have assumed
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the judges talked to each other. who am i to say they didn't? i'm going to do this because it's legal for them to do it. normally speaking, they would talk to theand not come to us. >> you're making a lot of assumptions that maybe a judge is in a hospital. you have no indication. >> i have no idea. >> may i finish, please? you have no indication the judge referring to here, judge richards was in the hospital at the time. you have no indication of that, do you? if you could answer it verbally for the record. yohave no indication that -- >> no, sir. i don't know -- he could have been sitting in his office and say, look, i want to do this and say okay. that's up to them. >> you have no knowledge of whether they discussed t case? >> no way. i would not know anything about that. >> and in fact, this isn't the situatn you mentioned like during your direct toaestimony where the originaludge didn't get involved -- >> i am reluctant that i have to
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do this, but i do. and disappointed that i have to it. but we d not have seven members on the dais right now. so we are going to have to stand in adjournment. i implore the members who are here not to leave. we are trying to find senators and locate them and get them here as quickly as possible. we do believe that one other senator will be here any minute, win will allow us to immediately continue. but for the moment we're going to have to stand in adjournment and hopefully it will be no more than three or four minutes before we can come back. so you all know, judge porteous, you have 6 hours and 30 minutes left, and the house impeachment team has 6 hrs and 35 minutes left. and for the members that are here, when this witness concludes, we have six witnesses
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ft. so if we can get everyone's attention again and get them back in the habit of showing up here and not leaving here, i'm optimistic that we can finish the evidence today. and i -- i apologize to the lawyers and to the other witnesses r this recess. >> i really underestimated how big the job was. i jumped from a minority whip to speaker overnight, from a minority party no one thought was going to be in power to leading a wave -- 9 million additional votes in 1994 was the biggest lead going into office
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anyone had had in history. >> newt gingrich is coming up later on c-span. former massachusetts governor mitt romney speaks to the republican convention this weekend. we will show you his remarks today at 7:15 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. eastern and pacific. >> for all of the people in depth book, and -- for all of the people in the book, there are many mistakes they may have made in their lives, but moving north was not one of them. >> tonight, a pulitzer prize winner on the journey and migration of african-americans from the south. the national distracted driving summit was held last week. first we will hear from raymond
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lahood, and later, from hilda sillies. then we will hear on national, state and local law efforts to reduce distracted driving. this is just over two hours. want to say thank you to the people who organized desk, and a special thank you to president obama who gave me the opportunity to focus on an issue i have become passionate about. i could not have done it without president obama's leadership been giving me this opportunity. i want to thank my colleague, hilda solis. thank you for being here and for your leadership. i know that when you heard about the osha folks coming here you said that you wanted to be here, and we are grateful for that. we look forward to your remarks. a special hello to the people who are participating remotely
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on www.distraction.gov, particularly the students. i also want to thank the extraordinary staff at d.o.t. for those who have not had an opportunity to meet our staff, we have a very gifted people, people who come to d.o.t. for the right reasons, to carry out the president's agenda, but also to step up and leave the department in a way that i have not seen in the history of the department of transportation. i am grateful to all of our staff who are here for your leadership. welcome, everyone, to the second national distracted driving summit. it is hard to believe that a year has passed since we first came together and began the work of assessing and addressing
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america's distracted driving prices. and it is hard to believe that we have come so far -- distracted driving crisis. and it is hard to believe that we have come so far so fast in our crusade to end it. this has become a campaign for me. last year after the distracted driving at summit. we invited families to come to washington to tell their stories. more than 300 people came and listened. many of you were in that audience last year, and we are delighted you came back. thousands participated over the internet, which is happening right now. while it is one thing to hear from researchers, academics, a law-enforcement officials, it is another to hear from the parents, children and siblings of people who are -- of people
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who were killed. i spent time with three of those people. we were scheduled to participate in a cable news program. we had a long discussion before the program started. during that conversation, jennifer, dave and judy convince me that we should create a group like mothers against drunk driving. the idea would be a national advocacy group devoted to ending distracted driving. that was born in the studios of cnn. during the year since, jennifer, dave, judy and other members have travelled the country doing important and inspiring work, putting a human face on a terrible problem. at last year's summit, we learned that distracted driving is an epidemic.
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it is an epidemic because everyone has a cell phone, and everyone thinks they can use it while driving. you all know this. if i asked for a show of hands -- which i am not going to do [laughter] -- i know that everyone of you has a self done. and i also know that everyone has used it while driving. do not deny it. we are hooked on it. that is why it is an epidemic. there is no bigger distraction than people on a cell phone or people texting and driving. there is not. you cannot drive safely doing that. i want to say a special word of thanks to the chief of police of washington, d.c. she came to visit me recently about some safety issues around our department. i asked her if she would post some people across the street.
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the sea has a very good law on texting and private -- d.c. has a very collage on texting and driving and cell phone use. so, when you came in here this morning, you might have seen some people issuing tickets. i want to say a special word of thanks to the d.c. police chief for her efforts to begin to change the kind of danger is bigger than has taken place too long in communities all over america, but in particular in washington, d.c. so, every time someone takes their focus off the road, even if it is just for a minute, they put their lives and the lives of others in danger. distracted driving is unsafe, irresponsible, and in a split second, it consequences can be devastating. there is no call or e-mail so important that it cannot wait. my advice to people is, buckle
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up, which 85% of the people do today, thanks to work we did for a long time on in the "click it short ticket" program. so, my advice to people is buckle up and put yourself on in the glove compartment. texting or talking on the self on has resulted in at 500 deaths and four hundred 50,000 injuries in 2009. we believe this has just been the tip of the iceberg, because many police reports do not include whether or not texting or talking on the phone was a distraction in an accident. there are mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, men and women in this audience to have planned funerals who will tell you exactly what is at stake. last night i met with the
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families who are participating in the press conference today to tell their heartbreaking stories. i am grateful to them. what i said to them was, it is not about statistics. it is about the people behind the statistics. that is what it is about. so, i would like for those people who have come here today to tell their stories, to please stand and be recognized. [applause] so, the situation is not without hope's. we have seen that drivers can and do change their behavior is. for example, we told americans get -- ticket.to
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we have reminded americans that if they are over the influence -- under the influence, they will be arrested. we have seen drunken-driving fatalities degrees. 10 years ago, nobody was wearing their seat belt. nobody wanted to wear a seat belt. today, 85% of the people the get in a car where a seat belt. you know as well as i do, people said we will never get drunk drivers off the road. in the old days, our friends in law enforcement would call a cab, get somebody a ride tom, let them drive tom. today, people are arrested, put in jail for drunk driving, and they lose their driving privileges. we are right at the starting gate on distracted driving. if we stop for a moment and ask
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why, we see the ingredients for a recipe that will prove effective against distracted driving. we need tough, effective laws and good enforcement. we need public education. but most of all, we need personal responsibility. each one of us needs to take personal responsibility. buckle up. but the cell phone or blackberry in the glove compartment. -- put the cell phone or blackberry in the glove compartment. today, we are announcing three new actions consistent with this formula. one, we are submitting a proposal to ban a truck drivers from texting while on at the job. we proposed a rule to restrict train drivers from using cell phones or other electronic devices while in the driver's seat. today that proposal also becomes a final regulation. you know about that in california. 28 people were killed because a
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train driver was texting and driving. there is no excuse for that. maybe some of you saw the bus driver who was reading his amazon kindle while waiting -- while driving the bus, and somebody had the good sense to take a picture with their self some, and a bad driver lost his job. he was -- take a picture with phone, and that the driver lost his job. third, we are proposing to ban texting while driving a truck carrying hazardous materials. among the important success stories of last year are the thousands of u.s. companies that have imposed distracted driving policies of their own. one partner in this effort is the network of employers for
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traffic safety, an alliance of major corporations, including many on the court and 500 list. this has been established for 20 years. they are driven by the idea that corporate cellphone policies are a central pieces of -- is essential pieces of employee safety equipment. they will hold a drive safely work week during which they will remind businesses about the importance of safe driving. i am also pleased to announce some exciting news. in advance of this summit, we surveyed american businesses about distracted driving policies. we discovered that 1600 organizations, covering approximately 10.5 million workers across the country, have
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already adopted such policies, and we convinced 550 more companies, covering 1.5 million more employees, to adopt similar measures during the past year. this is not a bad step toward our goal. every employer in the the country should discourage workers from texting or talking on the telephone while driving. from other private sector friends, whether in the wireless industry, the insurance industry or the automobile industry, we have seen a number of constructive measures. the wireless association and individual insurance companies have been vocal in warning the public not to be distracted behind the wheel. that is a start and we are grateful. of the company's support laws that ban drivers from talking or texting while driving. the public is safer for it. but friends are honest with each
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other, and i think it is fair to say that we must all go further. in recent days and weeks, we have seen a news stories about carmakers' adding technology in vehicles that lets drivers update facebook, a surf the web, or do any other number of things instead of safe driving. facts are facts. features that apple driver's hands, eyes at -- features that attract driver's hands, eyes and attention away from the road are dangerous. safetyr, let's put before entertainment. let's ensure that advances and innovation go hand in hand -- hand in hand with progress the decreases distraction related deaths and injuries. still, laws, guidelines, rules and regulations do little good
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if we do not enforce them, so we at d.o.t. are running two pilot programs, one in connecticut and the other in the new york. we are testing whether high- visibility enforcement can change driver behavior. the early data shows that it works. according to new n.h.t.s.a. research available today, hand- held cell phone use has dropped 56% in connecticut and 38% in new york. texting has dropped in both places as well. there has been a groundswell of grassroots support for our cause. groups of like mom's spread the message far and wide that the only safe way to get from one place to another is to hang up
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and drive. the entertainment industry is leading the charge also. during the national football league preseason, espn plastered the message, "stop distracted driving," on the side of their tour bus, which they drove 15,000 miles from training camp to training camp. the jaundice and brothers and the american title winner participated in allstate -- the jonas brothers and american idol winner participated in an allstate project. oprah winfrey devoted an entire television show to stopping texting while driving. at the same time as americans called for action, government took notice. last year alone, legislatures in
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43 states considered more than two hundred distracted driving bills. during 2010, 12 state outlawed texting behind the wheel, and hand-held cell phone use. as i said, the president of the united states prohibit all federal employees -- a four million person work force at -- from texting while driving. even the united nations got in the game. last spring, i stood with the secretary general at un headquarters along with our great un ambassador as he imposed a directive banning the u. n's 40,000 employees from text messaging while operating vehicles on official business. in all of these ways, the last year has been very positive. i cannot think of another safety issue in american history that
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has gained so much traction in such a short period of time. we still have not solved the problem, not by a long shot. and you do not need to take my word for it. we have several people with us today to have suffered indirectly as a result of distracted driving, and i thank them again for joining us, for turning the worst moments of their lives into solving and saving the lives of others. i cannot do justice to all of the stories, but with your permission i would like to tell a few. robert and i leaned from santa maria california lost their 19 -- robert and eileen from santa maria, calif., lost their 19- year-old son. he was riding his bike in the middle of the day when a young
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woman in a pickup truck struck him. she was texting in the driver's seat. a miss johnson from-belt -- from ash built -- amos johnson from asheville, n.c., lost his daughter when she was hit head- on by a distracted drivers. she was texting at the time of the crash. there is a couple here from maryland. in two thousand eight -- in 20 they left their florida, to go to -- they left their florida house to go to a wedding planners office. they dreamed of a fairy tale wedding at disney world.
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on the way, they stopped at a traffic light. eight tractor truck driver plowed into the back of their car. it set off a chain reaction that left other and another woman dead. the driver was texting behind the wheel. these people came from all parts of the country. they have bright futures. they are the kind of kids that every parent hopes for. they are the kind of parent that every child the doors, and in inherit too short lives how many people need to die on our watch, not because of evil or malice, but because of carelessness and very dangerous behavior? during this last year, many of you have been part of a rising
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chorus shouting enough. today we gather and we will take measure as to how far we have come. and the distance we have yet to travel. share with you are doing, share with you have learned, ask questions, listen to new ideas, come up with some new ideas of your own, but no this -- we are in this together. we will solve this together. we will not let up till distracted driving is the behavior of the past. i am very grateful to all of you for being here, for being part of our team. shoulder to shout her -- shoulder, arm in arm, we will conquer this distracted driving problem. thank you all very much. [applause]
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>> thank you, mr. secretary. it is such an honor and my great fortune to follow secretary ray lahood who has all of you just heard inspires all of us and all of the nation's drivers to take personal responsibility every minute that they are operating on the highways. for the administration, that means the 4 million commercial drivers and half a million his truck and bus companies across the nation and how they operate in the workplace. if you heard the secretary reference, our administration employs across the country -- employees have developed from concept to final rule a ban on texting for all commercial
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vehicle operators in less than a year. his leadership is inspiring. as we consider how to promote safety among all drivers, for many of us in the department of transportation, it is safety in the workplace. for a truckdriver, their workplace is the individual cab of the truck, hauling 80,000 pounds of the nation's roadways. for the bus operator, it may be a transit operation, moving our schoolchildren, moving people to destinations like disney world and places across the country. those workplaces have to be saved, keeping both hands on the wheel, just hang up and drive. it is particularly great have the next speaker here. hilda solis, giving recognition that the transportation workers and those employees across the workplaces and less conventional workplaces that we recognize the importance of safe operations
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in even less conventional workplaces more than ever. these are occupations the keep our neck -- nation moving, our economy driving, it is our job to keep them safe. as i mentioned, secretary lahood is inspiring on those who work in transportation. our next baker it is equally inspiring to our nation's workers into the 17,000 employees of the u.s. department of labour. secretary hilda solis is a champion for workers' families and workers rights. she is a travel agent, the first to go to college and her family, the first to earn a graduate degree, the first let teaneck elected to the state senate in california. the first latina in the president's cabinet. her passion for workplace safety runs deep. secretary so les's his father
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bought for safety at a battery recycling plant where he worked. she brings the same values and passions to the department of labour. her mother was equally committed. secretary so is's mother was an immigrant from nicaragua, who spent 10 hours a day adequate factory where she worked and was equally outspoken about working conditions. prior to her confirmation as labor secretary, she represented the 32nd congressional district in california, a position she held for four terms. also on nationally recognized leader on the environment, secretary sully's became the first woman to receive the john f. kennedy profile in courage award for her pioneering work on environmental justice is used as a state legislator. please join me in welcoming a trailblazer, a champion of workplace safety, and for our workers across the nation, labor secretary hilda solis.
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and his 90. -- he thank you. [applause] >> the morning to all of you. it is a real pleasure to be with you and especially one of my good friends who i shared with in the house prior to coming into the cabinet, i love hearing him. many millions of people heard him aside over the house of representatives and we became good friends when i served there. as a rookie coming in, he was always a kind gentlemen, very helpful in assisting new members coming into the house. i have very good memories of the work that he did back in the house. and now of course, we are here. i am labor secretary, charged with protecting american workers
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rise, making sure that there were a lesser state, from ensuring the safety of construction workers to medical professionals, from our nation's miners to line codes, our labor laws protect everyone in the workplace. what we experience fewer fatalities today, the leading cause year after year our motor vehicle crashes. a distracted driving dramatically increases the risk of such crashes. this is why the department of labor use occupational health safety administration is partnering with the department of transportation to combat distracted driving. to reduce this deadly toll, we will focus on texting while driving, which is a subject of the executive order signed by president obama last year for federal employees. it is a subject of rulemaking. we call upon all employers to prohibit any work policy or
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practice that requires or encourages workers to text while driving. the osha act is clear. employers must provide a workplace free of serious recognized hazard. it is well recognized that texting while driving dramatically increases the risk of motor vehicle industry -- injury or fatality. if it is imperative that employers eliminate financial or other incentives that encourage workers to text while driving. employers to require it this fall who organize work so that doing so is a practical necessity even if not of a formal requirement by late the osha act. furthermore, we call upon all employers to follow the lead of president obama, secretary lahood, and 30 state laws that protect -- prohibit drivers from texting, to prevent employees from texting while driving to work. it is the top priority at the
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department of labour. that is what osha -- that is why osha is launching a campaign for the following. calling on employers to prevent occupational lead related occupational driving, with a special focus on preventing texting while driving. our web site will carry on an open letter to employers. we will showcase model employee practices to communicate our message. will forge alliances with the national safety council and other key organizations to help with the reach out to employers, especially small employers, to combat distracted driving and pretend that texting while driving. we will listen that this -- place a special emphasis on young workers. we will work with our alliance partners, and an osha receives a
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credible complaint, or organizes works of the texting is a practical necessity, leave will investigate, and where necessary issue a citation and penalty to in that practice. i also ask my division to examine what additional protections can be implemented to ensure that young workers are not subject to distracted unspoiled driving on the job or operating equipment. we cannot put a price on the health and safety of a child. employers have a legal and moral responsibility to protect their workers who ultimately are america's most important asset. our laws are designed specifically to level the playing field for all businesses ensure that workers are kept out of harm's way. by prohibiting texting while driving, we are working to ensure that workers are safe on the road in that their return home safely at the end of their shift.
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the bottom line is -- no paycheck is worth the life. thank you very much, and a special salute to the families that are here. good morning, everyone. 're just giving the next panel to the other. -the ceo of the national safety council. -- i am the ceo of the national safety council. we are excited to be here today. as you ever heard this morning, the number one cause of workplace fatalities as mis motor vehicle crashes. the largest cause of accidental death is motor vehicle crashes. driver distraction is a massive influence, and that is why we
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are particularly decided texcito be here today. we looked at the convergence of 50 research reports that talked about the dangers of cell phone use in testinand texting devicee driving. there was so little understanding about this. we had a massive debate. we knew this was very danger is behavior based on the research. we come from at traffic safety perspective, and we know the way to change this behavior follows the formula you heard ray lahood talk about. how you do that in the framework of very little conversation was the difficult part. a year ago on january we call for a nationwide ban on told a news and text to use while
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driving, and we called for companies to put in place policies prohibit the use of this. it was such a long debate press because of the lack of conversation. then i look at today and what we heard from secretary lahood and others. but that the amount of activity we have heard from a state legislative point of view, a research point of view, law enforceme point of view. i encourage you as we list to our panelists today to think about how we maintain the momentum i think all of us know that a year of action, even a tremendous year of action, is not enough to change behavior. how do we sustain the action over a longer amount of time? and how to read deep in the conversation? -- and how do we deepen the
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conversation? we agreed to listen to our panelists today. the topic is a year of action. which as we have a variety of perspectives. ha a federal retaliatory point of view, a research point of view, law enforcement point of view. let me introduce our panelists. the first is molly rams' deafie. she directs the state, federal affairs division. she has held a number of positions during her 14 years there. prior to joining, she was a research associate at instrumental the government helped at washington and hold a master's degree from public health in the field of medical sciences.
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our second panelists is katie thompson. she advises the secretary on chief policy issues and initiatives, including distracted driving, energy, and climate change. she rved as the inner agency efforts to address energy and climate issues. prior to joining she was a partner in austin, washington, and detaed her law degree from the university of pennsylvania. our third panelists is the enmitdan mcgee. he has been doing driver distraction research for 20 years, including over 500,000 miles of naturalistic driving research experience and numerous driving simulator studies. our finalist panel list as a
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graduate of cornell. he has a long career in law enforcement. he is the commanding officer of the syracuse cracktraffic divis. his traffic division is currently working with you department of transportation on an important demonration program testing the effectiveness of distracted driving squalls. this approach is being tested by his division and shows great promise as for changing critical distracted driving behavior. with that, we will start with molly. [applause] >> you. blinged kila secreta-- than you.
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the topic is an important issue for stateegislators across the country. before i provide the legislative update on distracted driving, i would like to take a few minutes to talk about n.c.l. and what we do. we are the bipartisan organization for the state legislatures of our nation's 50 states, and well and territories. this means we represent more than 7800 state legislators and approximately 35 legislative staff. our primary mission is to approve the quality and effectiveness of state legislators to promote policy innovation in communication among state legislators and insu state legislators have a strong, kotte said police before congress and the administration.
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-- strong, andorcienforcing voi before congress and the administration. n.c.l. has worked with several city traffic administration's to conduct a series of meetings with stakeholders and state legislators. following eight months of work in march of 2002, n.c.l. released a report "all long for th"along for the ride" to assist in making legislation about technology in motor vehicle. well i willoto through all of the recommendations, i will highlight a few of them. all drivers shoul receive a driver distracting an
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educational material. there needs to be more data and research. there should be exemptions for emergency personnel. he report recognized that young drivers were more susceptible to distractions, and of course, i do need to throw out that the report did conclude that states, rather than the federal government, should decide whether to regula the use of a wireless in motor vehicles. the group did not reach agreement on the issue of whether states should prohibit the use of nd-held wireless phones, and it should come as no surprise that the areas of disagreement at that time are some of the same ones that have been discussed recently. some individuals felt there was a need for restrictions on certain technologies, while others argued against it, citing states already have statutes dealing with reckless driving and that a specific law addressing a specific technology is not necessarily needed. at the time this work was
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happening, new york was the only state that had adopted a hand- held ban. arizona and massachusetts had and tell bans on the school bus drivers. -- had hand-held bans on the school bus drivers. i will letou know where you can access these at the end of my presentation. as you can imagine, we have received thoands of requests from state legislators around the country about this issue. i give you this ttle brief history lesson on n.c.l.'s activities because i want you to understand that this issue is not new to state legislators. as far back as 2001, state legislators were introducing legislation shoul on this issue. although what focus mostly on cell phone use.
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at least 43 states introduced a total of 140 bills, eight of them became wall. the majority of them established that thesstudies. as you can see from the table, there has been an enormous amount of legislative activity in this area. this tour is looking at legislative activity on the broader issue of distracted driving. i do not want you to put too much weight on the numbers each year,ut what it is impoant to see the pure volume of attention this issue has received in state capitals around the country in 2009 and 2010, and more importantly, the
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total number of enactments. back in the early 2000's, the number of enactments regarding cell phone use did not really take off. as a relates to texting there continues to be real momentum. in 2007 washington state was the first one to adopt the testing ban. i want to mention that in 26 states it is primary enforcement. that will grow to 47 stas at the end -- 27 states of the end of this month. in a very short amount of time we have gone from one states to 27 states. i s talking to some of my colleagues about this and we concluded we have not seen this
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momentum in statehouses across the country on any other driver safety issue. again, this map illustrates which maps have adopted specific language that the ybans texting while driving. i think we will continue to see the number of lost increase. the next chart provide summary figures on distracted driving laws and state, but let me take a minute to discuss specific provisions and the law. kinetic it increase the penalty for cel phone use wall operating a motor vehicle to $100, and they are providing 25% of the amount received of the ticket to an end to politics. -- kentucky increased the penalty for celebu news while opl phone use while operating a
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motor vehicle to $100, and they are providing 25% of the amount received of the ticket to municipalities. i know there have been discussions over considered what is driving. in some states you cannot just the end the use ban the use of e driving, because some states get into what is driving? it is a complicated issue when you get down to the legislative side of things. another one to point out, illinois adopted a statute that prohibits the use of of wireless telephone any time of operating a motor vehicle in the schools be its own or highway
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construction and maintenance zone. in the law it provides for exceptions for emergency personnel, law-enforcement, and the workers and the construction area. this is another example of how complicated sometimes these issues become once they get into the legislative process. the extensions can be an extremely hot lea debated item. we heard last year that maine took a broader approach and enacted a statute that states operation of our motor vehicle while distracted means operation of the vehicle if a person is engaged in an activity that is not necessary to the operation of the vehicle, and that actually impairs our would reasonably be expected to reject a expected to impair -- or would be expected to impair their
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driving ability. in 2010, washington made texting ban ana primary offense. where legislators do not just said let's check the box, we finished the issue. state legislators will reexamine their loss. as a result, sometimes they will go back and treat theweek them e necessary. state legislators across the country are committed to improving the safety of our nation's roads. as we all know, the legislative process does not always move at a swift pace. states a not in session -- some sessiostates were not in
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session in 2010. i do not think this is one area -- i do think this is one area where we could see all, if not most states enact legislation. n.c.l. will continue to serve as a resource on this issue. this slide provides links to a number of resources we have on distracted driving, and i encourage you all to visit them. thank you for the opportunity to be here today and i look forward to questions from the audience. [applause] >> pink you, molly. that was a great, comprehensive study that we've seen from the legislative purpose expectpersp. there is no question that secretary lahood's pas
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leadership is a huge part of the reason we have seen so much activity on this issue. ntt has been right behind him on this issue. -- and katie has been right behind him on this issue. [applause] >> good morning, everyone. it is an honor and privilege to speak to you today. we have been very busy since the last summit doing all the things we promise to do and so much more. distracted driving has obtains so much notoriety that webster defined it as the word of 2009. it explains its choice as a sign of the times th reflects our ongoing romance with all things digital mobile and the enhanced capabilities they provide. this morning you have already heard some of the statistics, and you will hear a lot more before the day ends. the risks of distracted driving
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simply cannot be an order. -- cannot be ignored. last year at the summit he stressed the need for individual responsibility, just as did this morning, when it comes to transportation safety, but he also recognized the government can and should play a role. for that reason that last year's summit, he announced a series of concrete actions that the federal government and d.o.t. with teover the next 12 months to learn more about the risks pod by distracted driving. our effects today have focused principally, although not exclusively, on texting because research shows it poses a considerably higher safety risk than other sources of driver distraction. the cornerstone of our
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regulatory efforts is president obama and executive order coerning federal leadership on reducing text messaging while driving. at last year'summit, the secretary announced the president has signed this landmark legislative ordernd that all federal employees and contractors were required to adhere to the terms of the order by december 30, 2009. i am pleased to report the executive order was successfully implemented throughout the federal government by the december 30 deline of last year, and all federal employees and contractors are now banned from taxi texting while driving vehicles. specifically the order to not text while driving privately- owned vehicles when they are on
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official government business. the operative term of the order is text or text messaging. that is defined as of readings from or entering into data for the purpose of taxitexting, emailing, or pimm engaging in any other form of electronic data retrieval or information. the president's order sends a very clear signal that distracted driving is dangerous and unacceptable and the feder government tends to lead by example. in addition to the president's order, the dot has taken a number of regulatory actions to reduce or to eliminate the use of electronic devices well trading vehicles or operating transportation equipment. the secretary's earlier mentioned the three significant activities, and i will spend a little bit more time discussing those. first of all, the federal motor
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carrier safety administration today released a final rule banning texting by drivers operate trucks and motor coaches. this rule reflects the latest research on destruction and reples a guidance document that took effect earlier this year. specifically the role amends the safety acto permit texting pas by drivers operating drivers by the interstate commerce. it imposes strict sanctions for failure to appear to the wall, including state or local laws that prohibit texting. there were 400 comments received on a proposed rule with only a handful of comments opposed to the ba andn, and thosn. this applies broadly to all drivers of commercial driver vehicles and all drivers holding a commercial drir's
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license, absent an expres. the pharaoh -- the federal railroad administration finalize a rule that imposes broad restrictions on the use of mobile telephones plan and other electronic devices fire rred operating employees. this is predicated on those recent scientific research, but unlike the other rule, it is broader than texting because of a series of very serious accidents that were attributable to distractions from personal electronic devices. the most recent incident occurred in june 2008 when a railroad employee was struck and kied because he was on his
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personal cellphone and unintentionally walked in front of an ongoing train. under the new rules, our road employee shall not use up an electronic device of any kind of that would interfere with an employee of safety-related duties. the rules will take in effect of within 30 days of the federal register. the third rule is a proposed rules issued today by the pipeline and hazardous material administration. that rule mirrors the ban on testinn texting. in additionto rule making, we have been very busy issuing guidance and policy to clarify existing statutory regulatory authorities. for instance, in april htthe faa
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peet issued a statement that engaging in tasks not directly related to required light duties, includg the use of personal electronic devices, constitutes a city press that violates flight safety standards. the advisory was prompted in a significant part by an event that occurred last october, and many of you never call this, because it was widely covered in the news. the incident involved a northwest airlines flight with 144 passengers aboard traveling from san diego to minneapolis. the plane over include the destinion by more than 150 miles before air traffic controllers could get the attention of the pilots. after the incident, the pilot in the first officer acknowledged they have been distracted while using personal laptop computers and discussing the airline crew scheduling procedures.
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the safety administration has also issued an advisory bulleted just an aug. remind owners and operators of natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines of the risk associated with the use of personal all electronic devices by individuals performing operations or maintenance activities on the pipelines. the advisory and bridges operators to integrate into the written procedures are appropriate controls regarding the use of such devices. lastly, the federal transit administration has issued a dear colleague letter wrote urging public safety operators to of all u.s. options for reducing the risk associated with distracted driving and evaluating policies that best fit with their operations in while effectively addreing the risks improperly using cell phones devices. in addition, mali was talking
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about the state level. -- molly was talking a minute ago about the state level. they successfully completed simple legislation last february, and that has been available to the states as they work legislatively. all of these efforts represent tremendous strides forward, but d.o.t. has much more work ahead of us. we will continue to work with the states, local governments, and all of our stakeholders to a valuate appropriate next steps. -- to evaluate the appropriate next steps.
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weill use our authorityo confront the risks. if there are other more appropriate means to address the risk, we will address that as well. i thank you for your time today, and i look forwarto your questions. [applause] >> thank you for the summary of the textbook example the role government can play on a very important issue. as one of several research-based organizations in the room, i can tell you that a lot of us do not take any action that is not based on research. that is why it isn'a path please
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to introduce dan mcgee from the university of iowa. [applaus >> i am going to talk about some of whatas been going on in the last year, not necessarily from the results perspective, but what kind of methodologies and where we are going to go from here. if you look at the history of driver distraction, up in the upper left-hand corner, one of the first that is was done by a professor at the university of toronto. this examined the attention to a man requires to drive. one of the things that is very important in developing the
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theoretical boundaries of our attention what we tried is understanding how long we can look away from the road. this device that he invented allows him to press a button and see how long he can go without looking. this looks like a pretty goofy contraption, but his work is foundational and extremely important to what we do in research today. after he published that very important work in 1967, some work that was done at cambridge university brown and colleagues really study the first telephone driving. in the next 20 years or so we found 30 different scientific articles that started looking at specific issues in driver distraction. 1983, a coerence was founded looking at issues with regard to
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attention and driving. then we lifted the last 10 years and give you a little histogram of how we're doing in terms of the scientific literature. what we see is a pretty dramatic increase over the years, and especially 2004 was an issue which human factors. in the last year there was a pretty dramatic rise. n 2009 we had 65 journal articles. so far this year, until the end of august, had as many as we did in 2009. we're good to have about 100 scientific journal articles and driver distraction-year. -- we're going to have about 100 scientific journal articles in driver distraction this year. we can now get into the vehicle and look at teenagers and others texting and how long they look
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opera road relative to what the professor did in the mid-1960's. over the last year we have seen a really phenomenal increase in the interval severity and research. -- enter disciplinary -- interdisciplinary research. you could really see the expansion of the interests in this topic is really stunning to lo at. we have a number of international conferences that we found it at the university of iowa. the virginia tech research, and the second international conference on driver distraction and attention. the scientific community is
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really getting much more diverse in this topic, as well as repoed on these for many different conferences as well. when you start to take a look at the kinds of tools that will use in research, those are also devolving our jobs as scientists is really to paint a picture, sometimes it is clear what the picture is made up, other times it is very fuzzy. we have very tightly controlled laboratory research from scanners that can tell us exactly how the brain changes under different kinds of attention demand. we use simulators with the national advance driving simulator. we use field experiments. finally, crashed in epidemiology data to understand how these
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kinds of mechanisms work. along this continuant we have the basic research that has experimental control where we can ask very specific questions and get fairly unambiguous results to understand the underlying mechanisms. as we move across the spectrum, we lose that control, even though what we see in the real world is quite compelling, it is more difficult for us to control and understand how that generalizes to the greater population. one of the things we're continually doing is searching for the proverbial cold standards in scientific methods. but you look in the past 100 years there is something called the scientific method. that is where we asked the question, construct the hypophysis, manipulate and control the variables, run the experiment, the statistical
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analysis, and out comes hopefully an answer that will better inform the scientists on the issue. now wi the revolving disk destructor research -- now with the evolving distracted driving research, we have a new message. -- method. we filter observations rather than manipulate the variables. in doing this review, what is important to also consider is where the research gaps are and tryi to understand and predict where the trends are going. we know that social interaction
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from twitter to facebook, we are constantly connected to our digital world. those kinds of communication patterns are very critical to understand. those are onef the areas where there is a big gap. we have many different kinds of enterprises out there from iphones to blackberries. we do not know a lot about the differences in those kinds of enterprises and how those results in more less distraction. we also have continual change and use and the devices. historically talking on the phone was very big. now we are finding texting and social media is usurping talking on the phone.
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understanding the changing use of the cell phone is critical. have lots of areas and understanding how data compares across platforms from simulators to others. these are very complementary approaches. we have mitigation technologies that dr. window will be talking about later on today. -- that dr. linda will be talking about later on today. we know drivers will choose when and when not to use the phone. we need to understand more about that. epidemiology of distraction crashes. we need to give law enforcement reported more details, asking more questions, requesting cell phones documentation for different kinds of crashes so that we can really document this kind of activity. we also need to understand a lot in social norms research.
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we know a lot about smoking in public and how that has transformed over time. we have a major social trends that helped occurred in the past few years. let's look of the underpinnings to move forward. finally the word addiction has been mentioned several times. we feel extremely compelled to look at calls. these are veryersonal attachments to us. finally, we really need to find more innovation. we have a fabulous research program already, because it is so intricate disciplinary it does not fit into a n.i.h. model. we need to take a look at this
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so we can develop important theories so we can prevent -- paint a brighter picture of how this works in fits together. finally, i have a last flight here from of bemis iowa painter, grant woods, who painted a picture in 1935 called the deaths on the ridge road. it is really a fabulous piece of work that describes a crash in iowa. i look forward to your questions and a bit. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you. it will be the research he talked about that will drive a lot of the actions of many of us going forward. i think all of us know the difference between laws without
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enforcement and loss with visible enforcement and just how important a role of law enforcement is. here to share up perfectiva pers captain tryce. >> first of all, i want to know where i think it one of those fancy helmet so i can block things out in my life. law enforcement is ready and anxious to focus on distracted driving. we know we have the ability to change motorists behavior and change their perception. we have seen this before. we have seen this in click it or tickets. the tool we were using to produce this was high- visibility enforcement. what about high visibility enforcement? i think it is the business model
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that relates to customer service. we have a satisfied customer for every one satisfied customer, they will tell three people. for every dissatisfied customer, they will tell 300 people. we want to go after the dissatisfied customers. we want to make their life uncomfortable by handing out tickets. they will go out and get the message out to everyone and let everyone else know this is not right. why not distracted driving forcement? for that, the secretary ray lahood, gave us an opportunity to test this theory out. we putogether an enforcement program that was very successful. we had a drop in cell phone use of 38%.
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next slide please. the person i want to talk about was the fact that we put bolster the other. i think goals are extremely important, because if you do not know where you're going, you're not going to be able to get there. for that i borrowed wisdom from earl nightingale. i encourage you to look on the internet tonight and type on the strangest secret and you will be pleasantly surprised about a 20 minute conversation. i want to borrow a metaphor. if you take a ship into harbor and put a captain and crew on it, they have a destination and know where they're going, 99 times out of 100 they will get there. if you take another sh and did not put a captain and crew on it and start the engine and let it
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go, it will probably not make an ad of the harbor. it is the same with law enforcement. we need to have goals. i got together with my staff, and we said what can we reasonably expt to do on the roadways? my staff came back and said i think that we could probably interact with one driver every 15 minutes talking on the cellphone and ticket that person. -- talking on a cell phone and ticket that person. so that is what we did. we wrote companion tickets and boosted our ticket rate up to eight tickets per hour. basically one ticket every seven minutes. we did that by paring offenses. next light.
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-- slide. here are some the enforcement strategies we use. the most successful strategy was the road side watch. i have a quote former writer back in the 1600's. usually the best results coming from doing the simplest of things. we stood on the road and watched driver behavior. we also use mobile patrols, having police officers blend in with traffic. we did not find that nearly as successful. we also use checkpoints where we would employ a spotter and reader oadio ahead, but we did t have a lot of success with that. we also look down from on high. we would find roadways that had
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in basements where we could sit on top and look down andhe passenger cars to see whathey were doing. he was very easy to see drir behavior from up high and looked down. this also leads to enforcement vehicles. this would be an suv. obviously i have already discussed about the pairing of offenses. pretty much for every ticket we could issue, which could issue tickets for following too closely, speeding. our indicators. keeping eye on the driver. just like with buckle up new york, you can see what operator is doing.
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very easy to do. we would look for a bone to the year -- phone to the ear. we'll look at drivers eyes. when they were looking in their lap. maintaining lane position, vigilance of issues, the judgment problems. we saw all of those things when people were talking on their phone and taxiexting. when we saw someone falling to closely and we ask them what they're doing, invariably they would say we were texting. its very important to know your road. the city had a substantially
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more tickets. i attribute that not to the aggressiveness of officers, i attribute that to officers knowing their roads. sheriff's officers wear our guest and did not have as much knowledge as we did, so that had to think on the fly and develop strategies, but that came on strong towards the end of the waves. we would focus our enforcement year business districts because we found that is when people are conducting business on the phone. we look for places where we could easily get into traffic. we like the use of an unrked cars. as the way when qana became harder and harder to touch people -- as the wave went on pas it became harder and harder to catch people. i want to leave you with one store that illustrates how much
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we really have to do former distracted driving enforcement. we had a car crash in their jurisdiction involving one of those big double decker buses, and it would be comical if it was not so tragic. he hit a bridg we have never had a fatality from someone striking a bridge. we have had tractor-trailer's hit it. over the years we have developed engineering things to address this problem. it starts out with a sign, then there is flashing lights, and then i have outlined a bridge and fluorescent orange. you cannot miss it. this bus driver was busily typing on his gps because he missed the turn and slammed into the bridge and killed four people in tears and injured 20 on the bus. what is ironic and tells us we
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have so much work to do is the newspaper's exploded the next day and the foowing weeks after the crash, and everyone was talking about the bad killer bridge. it was the bridge that killed the people. certainly it was not. we can change that infrastructure but will not change outcome and we do not have drivers paying attention to the road. thank you. [applause] >> into. there's no question as to the effectiveness of enforcement. -- thank you. we wish to many more dissatisfied customers. now is the time to open up to questions and answers from
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panelists. we wanted to start with some of the group here. if there are any qutions from our soon-to-be panelists or moderators. >> my name is jeff haley. i am with the distracted driving foundation, and non- profit. our mission is to coordinate the technology solution t address this. i have not heard any technology solutions. >> dr. linda angel will talk about that specifically later on this afternoon. i think we will wait for her presentation about that. that is a great interest to the research community, because one of the things we look for in product design and general as you want to design the hazard
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out of the product. i think automating some of those things will be an important next step in how we deal with mobile phone use. >> other questions? >> a question for dan. you mentioned you thought the n.i.h. model would be useful. can you give more comments o what you think the methodology would be. >> you have been investigated driven-research that is grounded in basic science. th theories that are developed from that research apply very much directly to many different products and applications. most of the research that is being done now is very applied. i think there is one model that we could fill and in terms of
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creating new innovation. n.i.h. has much longer grant cycle sat look at specific issues that are published in journals that have archival qualities. 100 yes from now, a professor worthe professor's work will still be cited. >> any other panelists? other questions? >> thank you. my question is for chief tryse. syracuse is my home town. i can relate to the map be share you showed. was there anynforcement campaign prior to the
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enforcement aspect it? secondly, after the program, is there consideration of any follow-up on a public education of mentor program which are based on the screen saying we are still watching? [laughter] >> this program was modeled after the click it or ticket program. there was extensive research done before, and followed up with the public safety campaign, which they had advertising spots on the television. we did a lot of interviews telling everyone. we were not trying to hide. we wanted people to know we are going to be out there so they could change the behavior on their own. i believe some people did, but then we had to be the force. >> would you mind giving us your names before you start?
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>> my name is richard with john hopkins university. for officer tryce, surely yo looked around for technological solutions to your enforcement objective. for speeding, for example, we have cameras and what we used to call radar guns, what similar technologies the defined to aid in your enforcement in syracuse? thank you. >> actually we just use good old-fashioned watching traffic. it was that simple and that easy. no technology really needed, although we supplemented by checking people's speed. other than that, it was very
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simple. it is easy to see people's behavior on the road. >> this is for capt. trice as well. i am from state roads alliance in massachusetts. do you have any specific advice for enforcement of the texting portion of its? as we are going towards enforcement, we are getting a lot of questions from police about what their job actually is and how much they should move forward with this? there is a little push back from the police end of things. >> i would say that traffic enforcement is really law- enforcement. 7% of all the criminals that have to get to and from crimes by using a car. -- % of all the criminals have to get to and from crimes by
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using a car. traffic enforcement is law enforcement. secondly, i hope your texting law his primary. hours in new york state was secondary. we found a lot of difficulty enforcing that. if they are primary, and leaves no question and a police officer's mind. other than that, i think law enforcement does need help in the fact that we are expected to do a lot of things with a minimal amount of resources. it is very difficult for small police departments to have the luxury of the traffic division like my department does. it is difficult for police departments to dedicate people to do this type of enforcement, even though they wanted because they see the results of it, but th're going call to call to call. ines eyes when programs come out -- it is nice 1 programs
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come o. >> i have a series of questions from the web participants. molly, the first one is for you. we have talked all morning long about commercial drivers, but for all the other drivers othe road a l of people have the mistaken belief that we can create national laws to address the issue. can you give them advice on how they might best work with state legislators who are responsible for implementing tractraffic safety laws at the state level? also, the police officer just mentioned that primary enforcement is really important
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and how could you roll that into your advice to the? >> as we can see, there has been a lot of momentum on this issue in state legislatures. we talked about that from 2007 until today 30 states in the majority of them are primary. i believe it provides opportunity to take advantage of that momentum. almost every state has at some point introduce some legislation regarding distracted driving, and as citizens you can go in and meet with your state legislators if this is a priority. ask them to hold a shearing on it or introduce legislation. -- ask them to hold a hearing on it or intduce legislation. .
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.
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>> looking at your own map, it definitely looks like a patchwork. a few weeks i am driving from texas to florida. can you comment on providing beyond commercial, university of some minimum of federal legislation, whether it will happen? >> that's a very good question. when we look at regulation at the federal level, we first have to evaluate whether we have the authority to regulate for a specific mode. of passenger vehicles, we do not have authority at the federal level to regulate. so that does go to the state,
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although one of the reasons that we worked with them and pull together a diverse group of stakeholders to develop the sample lot is we wanted to encourage states to take action and to make it as easy as possible for them to adopt legislation that was a consensus legislation based oth diverse group. basically, we start with the research, and we said, where are the biggest risks? then week but the options and whether regulation makes sense. and if it makes sense, whether we have the authority to do it at the federal level. if not, we partner with the state. or in the case of the federal transit administration, we have been pursuing new safety legislation because there was a void. they do not have the authity that the department believes is needed to set minimal safety standards to public transit systems. so we look a all options and pursue all options for the best possible results avaable at
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the time. >> if we do not mind, you can bring the microphone over here. >> i am from the neurological institute and the university of illinois. secretary lahood's home town. the topic of drowsy driving is separate from the topic of distracted driving. but it is important and complicated district driving. i think it is worth introducing the topic of drowsy driving as a problem that we have lapses in and performance, which can make it hard to drive. it can make it harder to text message even when you're not driving. drowsy drivers, when there drowse, might pick up the phone, which is especially dangerous, to send a text message to make a call when drowsy. so that topic is notable as a compounding problem for distraction. i am curious to know if the
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doctor is doing any research thatombines your sleep colleagues and your own research in your driving simulators? >> that is a great question and an important point to make. if you look it crashed crosses in terms of even at defining and attention of drowsiness and sleepiness, it plays a role in that as well. overall, crash rates are affected by fatigue sleepy drivers. in terms of our own research and a number of other labs around the country are looking at things like obstructive sleep apnea and so forth in the driving area. as part of those studies, the will generally have a control group of sleepy drivers as well, but we have not included destruction as part of those experiments. sort of like what i talked about
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earlier about experimental control. we want to isolate the individual factors in these experiments to understand the fundamental mechanisms. having said that, once we start in began to understand this complex mechanisms, we can then start to add on additional factors to those studies. i think it would be an interesting area to pursue, but we have lots of other basic needs as well. thanks. that is a great idea combination.
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>> if you look at the rise of the smart phone in itself and how sophisticated is, and the combination of social media and how we communicate, basically that is really changing. we are talking less. that is something we really do need to understand better along the basic research lines as well
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as how is this social change occurring. the nielsen group, those that are interested in getting out an understanding media, just published another report a few months ago that shows another dramatic increase in the number of text messages that younger drivers are sending relative to talking. that is translating into the upper age is now as well, because those young people are growing up. as parents, we are now texting our kids. that is the most efficient way many times to communicate. ld be actually going down. clearly, typing and reading as much more distracting than merely talking, not that i like to put them on a continuum, but we know the conductivity is intensely distracting relative to merely having a conversation. >> i will say from the national
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safety council perspective, i completely agree about the dangers in the growing use of all sorts of ways to use hand- held devices. our own research says that the 20% of crashes that are caused by distractions with cell phones and text message devices, texting is 3%. 25% is cell phone use. clearly, there's a lot more exposure, and it is a major impact on distraction in itself on crashes. we would agree with you on that. i know there's a couple questions over here, too.
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>> these things are real life savers for distracted driving, and we have to admit that a matter how much we do, there will still be some people making mistakes out there. i just wanted to commend the federal highway administration for their work. >> let me echo that. my remarks focused on the regulations we have adopted, but dot has done so much more, and specifically, federal highways with rumble strips and
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technologies to help drivers avoid departing lanes, or to alert them so they can get back in the lanes. we are not just about regulations. we are doing a lot more. when you hear from some of the other panelists today, you get a more comprehensive sense of everything we are doing. >> and sandy gordon with the american academy of orthopedic surgeons. we have probably 36,000 orthopedic surgeon members, and we have committed ourselves to doing public education and public service advertising campaigns because it is orthopedic surgeons to see the horrific injuries that are the result of distracted driving crashes.
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how can we partner with you to make a difference and help eliminate these horrible crashes and injuries that occur? >> who would like to take that? >> speaking on behalf of dot, i hope you will find that we have a very open and transparent process, whether is rulemaking or development of consensus legislation, seeking comments and input on research and technology. the public is always welcome, and we solicit your comments either through the formal processes or informally. we want to know as much as we can to make the most well- informed decisions we can. >> where bring legislators
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together several times a year and have meetings and we have had sessions on this issue. we continue to look at this issue and provide legislators perspectives and all information regarding this. welcome the opportunity to have you provide information to state legislators. >> from the research side, there are professional societies and automotive madison that you should connect with as well because there is a lot of crash injury trauma work being done with them as well. that would be one way to increase the scope of your activity. >> jeff kaufman with the transportation training organization for the greater houston area.
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my question is in regard to self-incrimination. how many folks have you recorded, how many have you pulled over, especially since the secondary lot in new york. how many folks have actually admitted that they were texting when you pull them over? >> first of all, talking on the cellphone is primary. texting is secondary. surprisingly we have found a lot. i think it was because of the media campaign. a lot of people were resigned when we pull them over and tell them we stopped them for texting or the cell phone. they would just say, you got me. they knew it was coming, and they got caught. we found people were pretty much cooperative. we did not get as much pushed back as we do in other things where people throw fits like for
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seatbelt tickets. people embraced the facts and new that the jig is up. >> ok, back there. >> good morning. i am from scenic america. this question is about the research that is out there on distracted driving, the 100 car naturalistic study that says if you take your eyes off the roof more than 1.8 seconds, we're lookinat the margins of additional technology along the roadway and the forms of signs. on premise, off premise, full motion videos, a seven-eight stories high. it's your university any research on that? and the fact and nobody has any power to turn that off. they can turn the cell phone often not text message. but when that huge sign is facing them, they are drawn to it automatically. is there something looking at the full picture of distracted
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driving that we should be looking at as well to make inroads in trying to eliminate, if not reduce, the form of destruction? >> i think you're talking about electronic billboards as another area. and i see a doctor monk from the federal highway ministrations. the federal highways interested in that kind of information as a lot of state and local jurisdictions are as they deal with the planning process. there are number of publications that have been published from the transportation research board. dr. smiley has a recent article. recently, it surely is hear some more, federal highway didn't international corps of electronic billboards and how policies around the world are being dealt with. it ian ongoing area. i would encourage you to look up a few key publications from them. dr. smiley, chris monk, and the
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federal highway research program as well. i think there's a lot of interest in that. it is a slippery slope as we go from a small sign on the side of the road to these enormous signs to standard billboards and how you design information, how long it is on there, how it is stated in, how attractive it is to the eye. all those things are very important to the context of the overall drive. >> ok. >> good morning. i am and occupational medical opposite -- physician get a i am concern about distracted driving a public health in general. you have the pilot program in syrase. my question is kind of to the entire panel and kind of deals with civic responsibilities. since we do not have laws that go across the whole united states, wh can we do to actually empower citizens to help kind of enforce this?
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have we considered in the autonomous online databases that maybe can khmer to the company but also to the dot or fscsa were concerned citizen can actually report a person -- let's just say a passenger in the car can report another driver that is text messaging while driving? especially in the areas where we do not have as much enforcement. i think there needs to be some type of way where we can empower and educate people, even if it sends them something in the mail this is this is a warning for text messaging and driving because it puts people at risk. >> any of our panelists? >> i think that is a really interesting suggestion, and it is something that we will consider. i guess i wonder -- those are
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the types of things you want to verify before you would have somebody send out a letter to the person. but if you have a, you want to submit to distraction.gov, please do. thank you for the comment. >> ok, we will go over here. then we might need a microphone. >> national organization for use the safety. my question isor the whole panel. many youths are growing up with cell phones, becoming part of their life before driving is. my question is, how could you instill these behaviors of do not text message and dry early enough that it can be coinciding with growing up with cell phones? so it is not all of the seventh. you ha been text messaging all your life and now you cannot behind the wheel. >> i think that is a great question. when i grew up, there was no
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seat belts. you did not put kids in car seats. my kids growing up, they do not even get in to the car double best they even tell me to put on at the seat belt. your question is a valid. it is why we are starting enforcement campaigns to change cultures and the neighbors to do some social norming tuesday is not right. it is true. this technology has been introduced to us and will not dealt with in the problems that can occur. >> i do think changes will happen. with that generations. we talk about the click it or a ticket, and now we're up to 85% of the people using seat belts. i am speaking on behalf of myself. i get in my car. i have a two and a half year- old, and i get in the back seat. it also one of those people who cannot even plot of the driveway without a seatbelt. but my two work -- my two-year- old will tell me to put my seat
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belt on. he will always put his seat belt on because he does not know any differently. again, it is the personal responsibility of teaching teenagers, young children, and as small as 5 and 6 when the star to play with these different technologies, that it is just not something you do well driving. again, it cannot just be legislative, and enforcement, but there is a personal responsibility side. >> i agree with at. personal responsibility is a big, big part of the solution. that means being a good role model for your children, for your friends, for your family members. i was visiting my sister earlier this year who has a 16-year-old daughter who just got her license, and it freaked me out because i thought she was channeling secretary lahood. her daughter was getting ready to go to soccer practice, edgy patter blackberry in her hand. her mother looked at her daughter and said, you know
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where that goes when you're driving, don't you she goes, yes, mom, it goes on the glove department. if that was powerful to me of how impornt good parenting and good role models of behavior is to instilling the right kind of safety line of behavior in young people. >> great question. i think this sort of a multi modal approach in terms of technology, law enforcement, and social norm changes. if you look at alcohol and driving a generation ago, people thought it was actually ok to have a few beers, a six-pack, before they drove home, and that was pretty common. we're interested on the research side, how we speed up the social norm change. you could say this might take a generation to change, but if you look at smoking in public places, in just a few years that has taken place and has been greatly excepted. i think it is something we
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really need to study. >> sorry to enter low. the other area we need to work hard at his driver education programs. we need to teach kids when they're taking driver education, you cannot drive safely with a cell phone or blackberry in your hand. that is one way. i know that you are focused driven and others, and i thank you for your efforts. i think most drivers education progra are now private. some people paid to do it. and in most states, i believe driver education is required before you can get a license. if we need to just get driver education programs and to have a lesson on not using cell phones and texting devices, number one. number two, we're goingo work with our friends in the technology industry to maybe think about when you go in to buy your phone, maybe there's a big warning label on the box, do not use this device while you're
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iving. our friends in the technology business want to help us. one way is when somebody purchase is one of these devices, that perhaps there is some kind of the warning that can be either given byhe salesperson or put right on the box the way we put warning labels on cigarettes and other products that are sold. but the driver education, to me, is absolutely critical in terms of really trying to train young people that it is not possible. let me just say, while i have the microphone, i want to thank janet, and i am sorry i did not do this during the remarks but of the national safety council has been extraordinary in their help with focus driven and helping to step up our distracted driving campaign. thank you for all that you have done to be helpful to us. >> it is easy to follow that kind of leadership, as you can tell. >> i can add one more thing, i
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completely agree. one other element we need to teach in jurors that is how to be a good passenger. we know that teenage crashes are enormously high when their passengers, but this is exacerbated by the cell phone- related communication that is going on in the vehic as well. so teaching had to be a good passenger as well as a very important. an extra set of eyes can help the driver. >> good morning. i represent roscoe division systems. as an industry, we work with the technology side, leaning more toward the training and verification of compliance with drivers. onhe commercial side and on the public school buses. my question is that a year ago this past april, there was an
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exemption put out that allowed for the placement of accident event recorders, which is one of the technologies that we use in compliance verification and in training, to be pced in certain areas of the windshields. on the state-to-state level, we run into a lot of different regulations from state to state and issues were each state has their own regulations. and it is very hard to work within those states to be able get a blanket approval. the fmcsa with trump the state law when it comes to the commercial vehicles. but in the public sector for school buses and things like this, we run into issues of the different states and how they regulate them. and it really ties our hands. we have been promoting these accident even recorders as a training tool for driver's training, for driver
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recertification, and also for driver evaluations. and we have a lot of training companies using these, especially in canada. i was wondering, on the state legislative side, is there anything we can do as an industry to help them work in the state-to-state level with one voice versus going individually state to state to try to get regulations that are written? all the states and to be moving toward this, but that a written more in compliance with what the national regulations that are being proposed and actually being brought out? is there any way that we can help to work with the states on at? thank you. >> well, i am not as familiar with the exact regulations you're talking about so far as the technology and the school buses. but so far as, you know, working with state legislators, again, i give you the invitation
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to contact me and talk dectly with me. ncsl, on a whole, does not develop model legislation for states to adopt because, you know, the one siz does not fit all, and we want to make sure states have flexibility in the way they approach legislation in their state. but i would at least welcome a conversation with you if there's an opportunity that we can at least talk to a group of state legislators about some of the concerns. i would be more than happy to provide that. >> i think we have time for one quick question. we will go back to the web. >> this one is for the captain. in your demonstration project, did you have strong support from the courts? we know that sometimes law enforcement officers are reluctant to enforce laws. if they do not feel it will be followed through in the court system. did you have strong support and
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can you give advice to other communities in law enforcement officers? >> that is an excellent question oftentimes we do not have the support of the courts. but in this particular case, we did, probably because secretary lahood was involved. [laughter] we have 80% conviction rate. for any other type of offense, the conviction rate is about 50%. so we were quite pleased with it. >> now you have suggestions for how you were able to get them involved other than bringing in the secretary? [laughter] >> we tried to reach out to the courts. we tried to establish a dialogu with the but it is difficult because the courts see themselves as independent. independent arbitrators of the truth. so they do not want to seem biased with the police or with the defense counsel. oftentimes they're very standoffish.
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it comes down to education and understanding the reasoning behind distracted driving, behind impaired driving, or behind seat belt enforcement and why we're doing this. so that is what is important, probably education for the judges by somebody who is independent before somebody as big as mr. lahood. >> he did not mean physically. [laughter] >> thank you all for your questions. i know some of the panelists will probably be around during the day to answer some more questions you might not have had a chance to ask. i want to say special thanks to secretary lahood for some of today but for your unbelievably relentless leadership on this. there's no question that a lot of the activity you are about to that was a direct result of your leadership and the department of transportation's leadership on this. even more important than the activity is the lives that have been sed in the injuries that have been prevented. for that, many folks owe you a
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great deal of gratitude. a special thank you to our panel for the activities involving all of what you talked about today and for your leadership and support. we look forward, all of us, to continuing to work togetr to sustain the momentum so we can save more lives and prevent far more injuries. thank you to all of you guys. [applause] >> good morning, everyone. i am deputy secretary for the department of transportation,
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and i am standing between you and lunch. so i will be brief and focused. i would like to first thank you for your attentiveness and for your ongoing energy through the last year on distracted driving. secretary lahood made clear and compelling case earlier this morning to continue the national campaign to end district driving in the united states. as we have heard from our panelists at this morning, we have come a long way in the last year. but there's far more for a of us to accomplish in the months and years ahead. to maintain our momentum, we will need to use every tool at our disposal, including solid research, sensible regulations, effective education and outreach, aggressive law enforcement, and innovative technology. we will need to continue building and maintaining the effective partnerships with our friends in the telecommunications and auto industries. we will need to continue working closely with the growing community of advocates or so
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passionate about this issue. to undstand all that is at stake in who are key to helping us educate and inform the public. importantly, we must recognize that the dangers of destruction did not begin and end behind the wheel disc -- behind the windshield of a car, bus, truck. this problem affects literally everform of transportation. it affects every pilot and conductor, whether he or she is on the verge of a coast guard cutters, the cockpit of a jum jet, or the cab of a freighter passenger train. make no mistake, destructive behavior is a crosscutting, systemwide issue, and it is going to require crosscutting solutions to get a handle on the problem. the time to broaden our campaign is now, because distracted operators are causing tragic accidents everywhere. over the last year, dot has moved swiftly to put new measures in place to prevent more crashes and more deaths throughout our transportation system. consider the following, in
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septber 2008, 24 innocent people were killed when a natural link commur train collided head-on with a freight train in california. this was the deadliest accident in the history of their operations. the national transportation safety board concluded earlier this year that the crash occurredecause the engineer was text messaging, causing him to miss a rest signal while operating the train, in clear violation of company rules. within days of this accident, feral railroad administration issued an emergency order containing stringent restrictions on use of electronic devices by railroad operating employees. fra followed up with a proposal that would ban the improper use of electronic devices, including cell phones, by on-duty real employees, including engineers, conductors, switchman, and other key crew members. as you heard this morning, a final regulation on this is being postedf today beingra has
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also launched a confidential close call reporting system that encourages real volunteers, rail workers to voluntarily and anonymously report close call incidents that could have triggered an accident or injury. amtrak join this innovative program this month. we're confident that this will generate new insight into the best ways to idenfy the root causes of near misses, including perhaps of greater distractions, and determine the best strategies and countermeasures to pursue. turning to aviation, as you have also heard, in october 2009, northwest flight 188 overshot its minneapolis destinaon by more than 100 miles and failed to maintain radio contact with the control tower. as a result, hundreds of fun with the passengers were in the hands of two and a tinge of pilots. the ntsb found that the pilots had been poring over a laptop and were distracted by conversation that had nothing to do with flying the aircraft
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safely. the faa took action against the crew and has since issued new regulations and guidance for operators, asking the airlines to address the issue of destruction through their crew training programs and to create a safety culture to control cockpit distractions. and on our waterways, attention safety is paramount importance. that is why our maritime administration is making sure each generation of mariners and roll with the u.s. merchant marine academy and the others did academy programs to learn to avoid risky behaviors aboard any vessel they serve on. the bottom line is transportation-related accidents caused by any form of distractions are completely preventable. there should be no near misses and no loss of life. and there are no excus for losing focus when you are in control of a boat, train, a plain, or any other motorized machine. so we will continue looking for answers. we will build on decades of
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knowledge and wisdom gained from our ongoing fight against drunk driving. we will find ways to apply what have learned about telling distracted driving on our race to the rest of the transportation industry. we should determine, for example, whether new research chniques that enable us to observe and measure our drivers behave in real time situations on the road, traffic, and night, and so forth. and the extent to which education and awareness, coupled with strict penalties and enforcement, can be adapted beyond our road-based pilot program in hartford and syracuse. this line of investigation can help translate the lessons learned so far into workable, measurable solutions that will work across the board. our department as already had it in this direction. i have charged our department of transportation safety council, which i chair, to bring together all of our operating administration's administrators
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and chief safety officers to look at ways to leverage t rate of 60 research practices and programs across air, land, and see. we have a tremendous opportunity to break new ground here and make traveling even safer across the spectrum. so let's take the next step. i am asking all of you to join us in the broader campaign to apply what we have already learned and what we have yet to discover about changing behavior is, punishi violators, and making our waterways, railways, and there was ever than ever. we've all your contributions, and we need your expertise and insight as we face this >> c-span's local content vehicles are traveling the country as we look to some of the most closely contested races leading up to this november's
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midterm election. >> the district is a big one that stretches from downtown charlotte to fayetteville in the east. the district is as varied as any district in america, probably, certainly in north carolina. you have a lot of urban dwellers and on the way to fayetteville repast through a lot of rural counties, many of which are very rural, based on agriculture, with a manufacturing economy not nearly as strong as it used to be. service point to it being one of the most competitive -- most competitive races. >> i believe that government works best when government sets the the environment for people to be successful. to set the parameters, get the
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help, and then get out of the way. let people do best what they know how to do. >> the district is to be represented by a republican for 10 years before larry kissell dialect in 2008. he lives in a rural community in the eighth district of montgomery county. he worked in a textile mill for years. with all the upheavals in the textile industry and the state and the district in particular, he changed careers and went into teaching. he was a social studies teacher at a montgomery county high school. like any freshman, it is a low- key first term in terms of accomplishments. he voted against health care costs. he also voted against captain trade, which alienated a lot of democrats.
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even democratic leaders in the district were upset about those votes, particularly african- american leaders who helped get him elected. since then, you don't hear as much about those votes. he has also spent a lot of time and attention on the needs of the district. he tried to bring more jobs to the district, he has bent to plant openings and things like that. he has been trying to separate himself from the democratic leadership in washington. he is running against republican harold johnson. there is a libertarian candidate as well. >> we don't believe -- i learned from businessmen and women that i talked to.
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we are a can-do country. give us a chance. very well knowns around the charlotte area. the that carried him a long way in the primary. he had a lot of name recognition as a result in the western part of the district, which is the most populated. he ended up in a runoff with the republican from eastern north carolina who is buried conservative. he will -- who is very conservative. he was supported by that the parties, but he also had a lot of money. he spent over a million dollars of his own money, so it was a very expensive race. it has been hard for harold johnson to raise money subsequent to that. >> if you look at voting voting, larry kissell's record is about 95%, which is
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not typical for a member of congress. harold johnson is playing that up and trying to ride the wave of anger in washington. whether he can do better not is still up in the air. >> it is going to come down to whether the democrats who helped elect larry and 2008 aren't going to come out and vote or whether they are going to stay home. a lot of it will depend on how much the tea party factions get behind harold johnson. a lot of them supported his opponent in the runoff in the primary. they might sit on their hands. they have a libertarian alternative. both candidates have something to worry about. kissell has to worry about his supporters to put him in office sitting on their hands in november. harold johnson has to worry about people in the tea party who did not necessarily vote for
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him in the primary or the runoff, but they could vote for him now, or if they will stay home and sit on their hands. >> sees bans local content vehicles are traveling the country as we look at some of the most closely contested house races leading up to this november's midterm elections. >> for more information on what the local content vehicles are up to this election season, visit our web site, c-span.org /lcv. >> i really underestimated how big a job was. i had been the republican minority whip. i jumped from minority whip to speaker overnight and from sort of a minority party that no one thought was going to be in power to leading 9 million additional votes in 1994. >> newt gingrich on his tenure as house speaker, the state of